Torn ACL and Surgery

torn acl and acl surgery for athletesTorn ACL and Surgery – Learn More About Risk of Re-Tearing

The incidence of second ACL injuries in the first year after ACL surgery is 15 times higher compared to an athlete that has never had a torn ACL.

We have data looking at recurrence rates after one year post surgery for a torn ACL. Dr. Mark Paterno and Dr. Timothy Hewitt and colleagues studied a group of athletes from the time of ACL surgery until they were 2 years post surgery for a torn ACL.

Key findings from this important research on ACL injuries after ACL surgery include the following:

  1. Having another ACL injury 2 years from the date of surgery is 6 times greater in patients that have undergone an ACL reconstruction, compared to the healthy control group that never had any injury.
  2. The group that underwent an ACL reconstruction and then returned back to sport had a 5 times greater rate of recurrent ACL injuries compared to the healthy control group.
  3. Female patients in the ACL reconstruction group were twice as likely to suffer a contra-lateral knee injury as compared to an ipsilateral knee ACL injury.
  4. Overall, approximately 30 percent of the athletes sustained another torn ACL within 24 months of returning back to sports. Out of the 30 percent that had a second torn ACL: 80 percent tore the opposite knee from the initial injury and 20 percent re-tore their surgical side/graft.

Based on the results of this study, we can conclude that the opposite knee is at increased risk for an ACL injury. If a student-athlete has a history of ACL injury, a prevention program must be initiated in order to help prevent another torn ACL on the opposite knee. For more information about knee injuries and treatment for a torn ACL, contact Louisville Orthopaedic Specialists today online or by phone at 502-212-2663.