Misconceptions rife after ACL injury

Wednesday, 2 Dec 2015

Most people with an ACL injury recognise they are at an increased risk of knee osteoarthritis but over a two-thirds mistakenly believe that reconstruction reduces their risk, research shows.

The survey of 233 people from Australia and the US who had an ACL injury in the last five years found that over seventy percent rated themselves as being at greater risk of OA compared to healthy peers.

However two-thirds of the respondents said they believed ACL reconstruction reduced the risk of OA, or indicated that they did not know.

And only a quarter of people said they had been informed about their increased risk of OA by their health professional, found the research team led by Kim Benell from the University of Melbourne.

This finding could indicate that health professionals were not educating patients, possibly due to lack of knowledge by the health professionals themselves, or a failure by patients to recall important preventative information provided at time of injury or surgery.

“Our findings highlight the need for better education of both health professionals and patients about OA as a disease entity and OA risks following ACL injury and ACL reconstruction” wrote the authors in Arthritis Care and Research.

“While patients may be opting for surgery on the false belief that it will reduce their risk of OA, education should cover the elevated risk of OA irrespective of conservative or surgical treatment,” they said.

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