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Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstructions Increasing

Subsequent surgery more likely in younger patients, those treated by lower-volume surgeons

MONDAY, Oct. 5 (HealthDay News) -- During the period of 1997 to 2006, the rate of anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction significantly increased, and subsequent knee surgery was required more often among younger patients and those treated by a lower-volume surgeon or at a lower-volume hospital, according to a study published in the Oct. 1 issue of the Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery.

Stephen Lyman, Ph.D., of the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City, and colleagues used the Statewide Planning and Research Cooperative System to identify 70,547 reconstructions performed in 1997 to 2006.

Between 1997 and 2006, the researchers found that the annual number of reconstructions increased from 6,178 to 7,507. They also found that 6.5 percent of patients required subsequent surgery on either knee within a year. Women, patients having concomitant knee surgery, and those who were treated by a lower-volume surgeon were more likely to require subsequent knee surgery. Patients under the age of 40 years, those with concomitant meniscectomy or other surgery, and those treated at a lower-volume hospital were more likely to require subsequent anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction.

"The primary value of these results is that they may be used to inform hypotheses that can be evaluated in clinical research projects, which do not have the limitations of administrative data analyses," the authors conclude.

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