Knee-Slapping Results after ACL SurgeryOne single ligament has more to say about function and activity than any other. The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is one of two major ligaments in the knee. If you can walk, squat, and climb stairs easily and without pain, thank your ACL. On the other hand, if your knee locks, makes noises, and gives out from under you without notice, your ACL might be to blame.
People of all ages injure the ACL. Surgery is often needed to repair the ligament. New ways to repair the ACL have been developed with better overall results. Doctors are measuring these results long after the surgery is over.
A group of doctors in Vail, Colorado, measured outcomes for over 200 of their patients. The group ranged in age from 14 to 60 years old. All had surgery to repair a torn ACL. Results were measured in three ways: symptoms, function, and patient satisfaction. Patients were followed for two years after the operation.
Patients were most often unhappy with their result if there was loss of motion, pain with activity, and giving way of the knee when standing or walking. Other symptoms, such as the knee joint locking or making noise, swelling, and tenderness along the joint were also reported as a poor result.
Patients are generally not satisfied after surgery to repair an ACL tear if they can't return to work or sports activities. Being able to perform daily activities at home, work, and play are important to patients. Doctors are paying attention to this and measuring results after surgery even years later.
Mininder S. Kocher, MD, MPH, et al. Determinants of Patient Satisfaction With Outcome After Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction. In The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. September 2002. Vol. 84-A. No. 9. Pp. 1560-1572.
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