Minimal differences in outcomes and re-injury risks were seen between patients with ACL ruptures treated with or without surgery, according to recently published data.
Researchers conducted a prospective cohort study of 143 patients from the Norwegian Sports Medicine Clinic who sustained an ACL rupture between 2007 and 2011. Patients were divided into two groups: group A (100 patients treated surgically) and group B (43 treated nonsurgically). The researchers collected and evaluated self-reported sports participation, knee re-injuries, isokinetic knee extension and flexion strength, and self-reported knee function via the IKDC 2000 at baseline, 6 weeks and 2 years.
Twenty percent of all patients reported sustaining a knee re-injury at final follow-up; 24 patients (24%) from group A reported 34 knee re-injuries and four patients (9%) from group B reported seven knee re-injuries. Thirty percent of all patients had extensor strength deficit, 31% had flexor strength deficit and 20% reported knee function below the normal range at final follow-up.
Patients in group A tended to be younger and more likely to participate in level-I sports, but less likely to participate in level-II sports prior to injury compared with patients in group B. Postoperatively, patients in group B were shown to be significantly more likely to participate in level-II sports during the first year of follow-up and in level-III sports during the second year of follow-up, according to the researchers.
No significant group-by-time effects on functional outcome were reported.
Disclosure: See the study for a full list of all authors’ relevant financial disclosures.