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Active Patients At Higher Risk Of Re-Injury After ACL Reconstruction

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The more active patients are, the more likely they are to experience re-injury after an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS).

The correlation between patient activity levels and their likelihood to recover well from different kinds of treatments was published as a literature review in the July issue of the academy´s journal. As a result, the AAOS advises patients to ask their surgeons if their treatment decisions are affected by activity levels.

Prognostic and outcome variables are impacted by a range of factors such as functional disabilities, age, weight and overall health, the association writes. However orthopaedic specialists are still unsure how to measure the effectiveness of patient activity levels, as well as the extent, that will allow them to achieve optimal prognostics and outcomes, the study´s lead author Robert H. Brophy explained.

In his words, doctors are further challenged by the variety of factors relating to activity levels – like the patient´s origin, gender, the very nature of the injury and so on. For example, when it comes to shoulder injuries, a strong predictor for failure in rotator cuff tears is the patient´s baseline activity level, as well as their expectations about the efficacy of physical therapy.

For hip injuries, the AAOS found that even occupational lifting and standing may increase the risk and speed up onset of osteoarthritis. Also, males with higher preoperative activity levels and a lower body mass index were more likely to get back to those levels after a total hip replacement surgery.