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Treatment for acute anterior cruciate ligament tear: five year outcome of randomised trial
  1. Richard B Frobell1,
  2. Harald P Roos1,
  3. Ewa M Roos2,
  4. Frank W Roemer3,4,
  5. Jonas Ranstam1,
  6. L Stefan Lohmander1,2,5
  1. 1Department of Orthopaedics, Clinical Sciences Lund, Lund University, Sweden
  2. 2Institute of Sports Science and Clinical Biomechanics, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark
  3. 3Department of Radiology, University of Erlangen, Erlangen, Germany
  4. 4Quantitative Imaging Center (QIC), Department of Radiology, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA, USA
  5. 5Department of Orthopaedics and Traumatology, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark
  6. EDITORIAL by Levy and colleagues
  7. Listen to a podcast about management of cruciate ligament tear five years on with Richard Frobell, an associate professor in the Department of Orthopaedics at Lund University, Sweden
  1. Correspondence to: R B Frobell, Department of Orthopaedics, Lund University Hospital, SE-22185 Lund, Sweden; Richard.frobell{at}


STUDY QUESTION In young active adults with an acute anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) rupture, do patient reported or radiographic outcomes after five years differ between those treated with rehabilitation plus early ACL reconstruction and those treated with rehabilitation and optional delayed ACL reconstruction?

SUMMARY ANSWER At five years, patients assigned to rehabilitation plus early ACL reconstruction did not differ significantly in patient reported or radiographic outcomes from those assigned to initial rehabilitation with the option of having a later reconstruction if needed.

WHAT IS KNOWN AND WHAT THIS PAPER ADDS The relative efficacy of surgical reconstruction and rehabilitation for short and long term outcomes of ACL rupture is debated. Clinicians and young active adult patients should consider rehabilitation as a primary treatment option following an acute ACL tear.

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