Does surgery reduce knee osteoarthritis, meniscal injury and subsequent complications compared with non-surgery after ACL rupture with at least 10 years follow-up? A systematic review and meta-analysis

Teodor Lien-Iversen, Daniel Barklin Morgan, Carsten Jensen, May Arna Risberg, Lars Engebretsen, Bjarke Viberg*

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

Objective: We compared long-term follow-up from surgical versus non-surgical treatment of ACL rupture regarding radiographic knee osteoarthritis (OA), secondary surgery, laxity and patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs). Design: Systematic review and meta-analysis. Data sources: Embase, MEDLINE, CINAHL and the Cochrane Library databases. Eligibility criteria for selecting studies: Studies directly comparing the minimally invasive surgical (arthroscopy or miniarthrotomy) and non-surgical treatment of ACL rupture with at least 10 years of follow-up in adult patients were included. Results: Five studies met the eligibility criteria. A meta-analysis revealed a higher risk of radiographic knee OA and a lower risk of secondary meniscal surgery for patients in the surgical group. The risk of graft rupture/secondary ACL revision and secondary ACL reconstruction was equal in the surgical and non-surgical groups. Knee laxity was lower among patients in the surgical group in four studies. No difference was found in the PROMs (ie, International Knee Documentation Committee, Tegner, Knee Injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome, and Lysholm scores). Conclusion: The risk of radiographic knee OA was higher, but the risk of secondary meniscal injury was lower 10 years after surgical treatment of ACL rupture. The risk of graft rupture/secondary ACL revision or secondary reconstruction was unrelated to treatment type. The degree of knee laxity was reduced after surgical treatment in comparison with non-surgical treatment, while PROMs were similar. However, due to the methodological challenges highlighted in this systematic review, these findings must be interpreted with caution. PROSPERO registration number: CRD42019119468

Original languageEnglish
JournalBritish Journal of Sports Medicine
Volume54
Issue number10
Pages (from-to)592-598
ISSN0306-3674
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2020

Keywords

  • ACL
  • knee surgery

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