Last year, the Academy released the Clinical Practice Guideline (CPG), "Management of Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injuries." The guideline recommends, with "moderate" supporting evidence, that reconstructive surgery occur within five months of an ACL injury to protect the knee joint. In addition, the CPG states that in young adults, ages 18 to 35, use of a patient's own tissue (autograft) is preferable over donor tissue (allograft) to repair an ACL tear.
The new "Appropriate Use Guideline for the Treatment of Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injuries" provides more specific guidance to orthopaedic surgeons based on a patient's various indications, including age, activity level, presence of advanced arthritis, and the status of the ACL tear. The guidelines recommend specific next steps and procedures to ensure optimal recovery. Each treatment recommendation is ranked by level of appropriateness.
"The good news for patients and practitioners is that ACL reconstruction with autograft or allograft tissue is very successful," said Dr. Quinn. "What these guidelines do is delineate, in a very easy-to-maneuver way, what the most appropriate treatments are in each category. It actually gives you the specific circumstances to plug in, and highlights where the evidence matches the recommendations."
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