Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries are common injuries to the knee, primarily affecting young people who practise sport and often treated with surgical reconstruction. A research group from Lund University has now shown that 60% of these operations could be avoided, without negatively affecting treatment outcomes.
The research group’s study is known as the KANON study and started in 2001. This week the group is publishing its results in the New England Journal of Medicine.
"In our study, patients with acute ACL injuries were randomly divided into two groups for treatment with rehabilitation plus early ACL reconstruction or rehabilitation alone with the possibility of a later operation if this was deemed necessary. After two years only 40% of the latter group needed to have an ACL reconstruction.
"Despite the fact that many of the patients were active sportsmen and women, we found no difference between the treatment groups in terms of knee function, activity level or well-being two years after the injury. Neither did we find any difference in these respects when we compared those who were treated with rehabilitation alone with those who had an early operation", says Richard Frobell, researcher at Lund University, Skåne University Hospital and Helsingborg Hospital.
[Source: Modern Medicine]