A study published online in The American Journal of Sports Medicine examines long-term outcomes for surgical and nonsurgical treatment approaches to anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) rupture in high-level athletes. 

The authors conduced a retrospective, pair-matched, follow-up study of 50 high-level athletic patients with ACL rupture treated either surgically with an arthroscopic transtibial bone–patellar tendon–bone technique (n = 25) or nonsurgically with structured rehabilitation and lifestyle adjustments (n = 25). At 20-year follow-up, the authors identified knee osteoarthritis in 80 percent of the surgical cohort and 68 percent of the nonsurgical cohort. They found no significant difference across cohorts in functional outcomes or meniscectomy performed. However, 21 patients (84 percent) in the surgical group and 5 patients (20 percent) in the nonsurgical group had a normal or near-normal International Knee Documentation Committee score, pivot-shift test finding was negative in 17 patients (68 percent) in the surgical group and three patients (13 percent) in the nonsurgical group, and the Lachman test finding was negative in 12 patients (48 percent) in the surgical group and one patient (4 percent) in the nonsurgical group. Learn more...

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