Detailed guides to painful problems, treatments & more

Cruciate repair non-crucial

 •  • by Paul Ingraham
Weekly nuggets of pain science news and insight, usually 100-300 words, with the occasional longer post. The blog is the “director’s commentary” on the core content of PainScience.com: a library of major articles and books about common painful problems and popular treatments. See the blog archives or updates for the whole site.

Surprisingly, Frobell et al found that it’s not clear if a torn anterior cruciate ligament should be surgically repaired. In a randomized, controlled study of 121 young adults with acute ACL injury, there was little difference between getting reconstructive surgery right away and just doing normal rehabilitation. Given the structural importance of the ACL ligament, it’s amazing that it can recover from major trauma without surgery approximately as well as it can without. This study did not show that ACL repair is never or rarely necessary, but it certainly strongly suggests that it’s less crucial than most people would expect.

“A randomized trial of treatment for acute anterior cruciate ligament tears”
Frobell et al. New England Journal of Medicine. Volume 363, Number 4, 331–42. Jul 2010.

End of post marker

Last post: The DOs and DO NOTs of running your first marathon

Next post: My worst pain ever