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Postoperative anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction outcomes

15 August 2005


Background : A single orthopedic surgeon desired to establish the usual outcomes of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction surgery for his patients. A database was developed to allow for collection of clinical outcomes specific to this patient population. The database is able to analyze the data suitable for dissemination (e.g. educational pamphlet). Pre-operatively the expected and usual clinical outcomes should be shared with to the patient to allow for a better understanding of the risks and outcomes of ACL reconstruction surgery as part of the informed consent process.

Hypothesis: Collection of subjective and objective data should allow for a better understanding of the post-operative outcomes of a single surgeon for ACL reconstruction surgery and improve the understanding patients have in regards to expectations for their surgery.

Methods: Once the database was completed, convenience samples of patients between the ages of 12 and 99, who have undergone ACL reconstruction surgery, were entered into the database to test it usefulness. Once the database is found to be free from calculation errors, it is anticipated the participating surgeon will solicit patients for inclusion in a 24-month study. Subjective variables (e.g. prior knee injury, age, gender, previous knee surgery, co-morbid conditions, activity level , height, weight, pain scale, and knee functioning pre-operatively) and objective variables (e.g. re- rupture, infection, re-operation, graft type, Range of Motion, muscle testing, Quadriceps girth, anterior knee pain, and standardized orthopedic scoring systems) were examined during this study. Subjective and objective data was collected during the preoperative visit and at intervals postoperatively.

Results: The ACL Outcome database appears to function as designed. The small sample size of patients entered into the data prohibits the author from making any conclusions on the early data, however it appears that the system, once implemented, will be useful to collect and analyze outcome data for this specific patient population.

Conclusions: The ACL Outcome database should be a useful adjunct in the study of ACL reconstruction outcomes.


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