Jan 29, 2015
Single Or Double?

By Patrick Bohn

One of the long-standing debates between orthopedic surgeons regarding the best way to reconstruct a torn ACL was addressed at the 2013 American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine Specialty Day education program, which was held March 23. And the result? A draw.
There had been considerable disagreement over the years as to whether the single- or double-bundle method of repairing a torn ACL led to a better outcome for patients. However, new research indicates that both may be equally effective. Mattias Ahlden, MD, of Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Molndal, Sweden, was the lead researcher for a study that examined 98 patients ages 18-52 who underwent an ACL reconstruction after suffering an injury in a contact sport.

The researchers used a pivot test to determine the knee instability of the patients and found that 79 percent of the patients in the double bundle group had normal knee function compared to 67 percent of those in the single bundle group. While the study makes no claims as to how the different procedures affected patients’ long-term recovery, the results were conclusive enough for researchers to conclude that both methods are sound.

“Our study was not intended to show the overall effectiveness of ACL surgery, but instead determine if one surgical approach is better than another in promoting a return to normal activity,” Ahlden said in a press release. “The data shows that in fact multiple surgical approaches can help patients enjoy a return to normalcy after knee injuries.”

Patrick Bohn is an Assistant Editor at
Training & Conditioning.

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