The effectiveness of the single versus double-bundle method of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) repair were debated by orthopedic surgeons for years. However new data shows both techniques lead to similarly effective outcomes for patients, according to researchers presenting their work today at the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine's Specialty Day in Chicago, IL.
"We examined 98 patients who underwent reconstructions to repair ruptured ACLs using either one of these methods after two years," commented lead researcher Mattias AhldĂ©n, MD, of Sahlgrenska University Hospital in MĂlndal, Sweden. "Using the pivot shift test to determine knee instability, 79% of the double bundle group and 67% of the single-bundle group showed normal knee function, a relatively minor difference."
The patients studied, ranging in age from 18-52, opted for ACL reconstructions after contact-sport injuries. The sample was comparable in terms of gender, time between injury and reconstruction, and length of follow-up period.
"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," noted AhldĂ©n. "The data shows that in fact multiple surgical approaches can help patients enjoy a return to normalcy after knee injuries."
The study did not examine long-term effects of ACL injury recovery such as osteoarthritis in patients knees as it related to single and double bundle techniques.