Some ACL Repair Surgeries Fail

ANN ARBOR, Mich., June 29 (UPI) — About 400,000 Americans have surgery for an anterior cruciate ligament injury each year, but about 8 percent of the operations fail, U.S. researchers say.

Dr. Ed Wojtys, director of the MedSport sports medicine clinic at the University of Michigan Health System, says primary anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction surgeries involve the replacement of the injured ligament with an autograft from the patient’s body, such as a tendon of the kneecap or hamstring. However, he says, revisions are more complicated, less successful and require a longer rehabilitation period than the original surgery.


“Why those ligaments fail is subject to a lot of debate but probably has something to do with the techniques used the first time, and then the fact that so many (patients) go back to the sports that originally caused the problem,” Wojtys said in a statement.

To reduce the chance of a ligament repair failure, Dr. Jon Sekiya, also of the University of Michigan, advises patients talk to surgeons and other clinical staff involved in their case about their experience with the procedure.

“Surgical staff and therapists are well versed to take care of all the problems they may encounter,” Sekiya said. “Patients can simply ask their surgeon if they are comfortable doing the procedure — they will likely get an honest answer.”

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