13-1 Treatment of anterior cruciate ligament injuries
Treatment of anterior cruciate ligament injuries: Perspectives of change
Maya Calé-Benzoor, M.Sc
Tear of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is a severe injury that frequently occurs in athletes. ACL injuries are often accompanied by additional intra-articular damage, prolonged pain and diminished functional status.
Despite the wide scope of the problem, no clear consensus exists in the literature regarding a number of key issues. Two important examples are the criteria for selection of an appropriate treatment option, and the determination of readiness to safely return to full athletic activities. Another cardinal issue involves the establishment of effective prevention strategies.
Whereas traditionally, surgical treatment was considered the treatment of choice for the majority of individuals wishing to maintain an active life style, recent evidence has raised a debate regarding the clear merits of this treatment choice. Research documenting non-operative treatment options has come up with encouraging results, rendering strong support to the major role played by the physical therapist in the rehabilitation process.
This review outlines the evolution of current treatment approaches and their evidence base to date. With the growing understanding of alternative options of management, the ever important communication and co-operation among physician, therapist and patient become paramount. In conclusion, our understanding of the nature and scope of ACL injuries in Israel should be expanded by proper documentation and follow-up, in order to enhance successful treatment outcomes.