(HealthDay News) — For children with anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears, increased time to surgery is associated with a higher risk of meniscal and chondral injury, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine, held from July 10–13 in Seattle.
Allen F. Anderson, MD, from the Tennessee Orthopaedic Alliance in Nashville, conducted an observational cohort study to examine the risk of meniscal and chondral injury with delay of ACL reconstruction. Data were collected from 135 consecutive patients (aged 8–16 years) with ACL tears. The time from injury to surgery was classified as acute (62 patients), subacute (37 patients), and chronic (36 patients).
The researchers found that risk factors for lateral meniscal tears were younger age and increased time to surgery. For time to surgery, the odds ratios were 1, 2.6, and 2.59 for acute reconstruction, subacute reconstruction, and reconstruction of chronic injuries, respectively. Time to surgery correlated with increased odds of the frequency of medial meniscus tears and increased severity of meniscal tears (odds ratios, 4.49 and 4.28, respectively). Risk factors for chondral injury and for increased grade of injury included increased time to surgery and any instability episode.
“While parents and other caregivers have obvious reasons for concern over ACL surgery in young patients, it’s important to recognize when it may be beneficial,” Anderson said in a statement.