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ACL reconstruction far better for professional athletes than meniscectomy

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The American Orthopaedic Society presented a study at a recent annual meeting, suggesting the ever-common knee injury in football players and other professional athletes may not hinder a career if the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) undergoes reconstruction, rather than just meniscus repair.

Washington University School of Medicine and lead author on the paper Dr Robert Brophy says even through a meniscectomy requires a shorter recovery time, they are not as reliable in the long-term compared with ACL surgery.

Dr Brophy, also the assistant team physician for the St. Louis Rams in the US, says meniscectomy will therefore lead to a shorter career for these athletes.

In fact, he says athletes undergoing ACL surgery may not experience much difference at all in career length compared with athletes who have not suffered the injury.

The study extracted data from the American NFL, taking 54 athletes with a history of meniscectomies – 29 with a history of ACL reconstruction and 11 with a history of both – then analysed them in comparison to a control group.

While meniscectomy resulted in a reduced length of 1.5 years, it appeared ACL surgery did not reduce a career length by any significant amount. Although for players undergoing both treatments, there was career reduction by almost two years.

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Dates

Posted On: 8 July, 2009
Modified On: 28 August, 2014

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