Management of injuries to the anterior cruciate ligament: results of a survey of orthopaedic surgeons in Canada.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

OBJECTIVE: To identify the approaches to management of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury by Canadian orthopedic surgeons. METHODS: A questionnaire was mailed to 234 physicians randomly chosen from the Canadian Orthopaedic Association directory to obtain the following information: 1) how orthopaedic surgeons diagnose acute hemarthroses; 2) how patients in any of three common ACL injury scenarios would be managed; 3) what variations exist in surgical technique; and 4) how patient variables such as age, gender, and alignment influence the decision-making process. RESULTS: The return rate was 72%, and 56% of respondents were from academic centers. Patients such as those described in the protocol are routinely managed by 80% of the respondents. The diagnosis of acute hemarthrosis is predominantly made by means of clinical examination and radiographs. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is used occasionally by 43% and routinely by 6% of those who responded; arthroscopy is used routinely by 24%. For the competitive athlete with a complete ACL tear, 64% would recommend reconstruction and 33% would recommend bracing and rehabilitation. For reconstruction, 59% would use bone-patellar tendon-bone (B-PT-B) autograft and 32% would use hamstring tendon autograft; 40% would incorporate the ACL stump during reconstruction. Of the respondents, 77% would advocate ACL reconstruction for competitive athletes with chronic ACL injury. Of these, 63% would use B-PT-B autograft and 27% would use hamstring tendons. If bracing and rehabilitation failed, 98% would recommend ACL reconstruction. In ACL reconstruction, synthetic augmentation would be used by 12% in chronic cases and by 16% in acute cases. In making the decision to perform ACL reconstruction, 53% consider limb alignment to be important and 67% consider moderate patellofemoral pain to be important. Seventy-one percent are influenced by patellofemoral pain when choosing a surgical technique, with a trend toward semitendinosis autograft rather than B-PT-B autograft reconstruction. For the 8-year-old child with an acute ACL injury, 63% of the respondents would recommend rehabilitation and bracing. For the 14-year-old, 45% would recommend rehabilitation and bracing and 37% would recommend ACL reconstruction after physeal closure. CONCLUSION: The results of the survey indicate that, with respect to some of the issues, there is a wide variation in management of acute and chronic ACL injuries among Canadian orthopedic surgeons. Future research and randomized, controlled clinical trials should be directed toward these areas.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Mirza, F; Mai, DD; Kirkley, A; Fowler, PJ; Amendola, A

Published Date

  • April 2000

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 10 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 85 - 88

PubMed ID

  • 10798788

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1050-642X

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1097/00042752-200004000-00001


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States