One in three young Australian athletes who undergo ACL surgery re-injure the same knee within 15 years, according to research presented at the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine's (AOSSM) Specialty Day in March 2015.
Examining the long-term success of surgery for patients aged 18 years and younger, Australian researchers found that, although nearly seven out of ten of the athletes reported returning to their pre-injury level of activity following ACL reconstruction, 31% sustained a further injury after at least 15 years.
"Our study shows that young knees are more prone to re-injury than the adult population when compared to other research in this area - and is the first study to examine the incidence and risk factors for further ACL injury in a solely juvenile population over the long term," said lead author Justin Roe of North Sydney Orthopaedic & Sports Medicine Centre.
"While surgery still may be the best option for many ACL injuries, it brings to light the important factors physicians must consider when treating the younger population," Roe said.
Rugby or soccer was reported as the sport of choice for 48% of the injured athletes participating in the study.
Source: American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine