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ACL Surgery Case Study

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When someone tears their ACL, their first thought goes to getting ACL surgery, or ACLR. However, there are non-surgical treatments for special populations. Those populations are young children and older individuals. Additionally, there are alternatives to ACLR. Children with tears in their ACL can be treated nonsurgically. Children can heal easily due to vascularization, or the formation of blood vessels, which plays a role in the healing process of the body. “An explanation for the discrepancy may be that minor lateral meniscus tears heal in children, which several authors have suggested is possible because of significant vascularization,” (Moksnes 2013). In a study of 41 children, 28 children underwent conservative non-surgical…show more content…
Since patients typically obtain ACLR to return to their pre-injury status and contain their normal activities, there is no point in a vast majority of elderly ACL tear victims receiving it. On top of that, the small group of elderly who are active and desire return to activities have to pass a certain criteria for ACLR: “ACL reconstruction in active patients older than 60 years with ACL deficiency but without knee arthritis,” (Toanen 2017), meaning that these active patients cannot have knee arthritis in order for them to undergo ACLR. To put this into perspective, “of persons ages 65 or older, 49.6% [have] ever reported doctor-diagnosed arthritis,” (Arthritis-Related Statistics 2017). This means that about half of the population over 65 years of age can not get ACLR. Speaking of arthritis, ACLR can cause osteoarthritis in individuals over 60 years. In a study review, “twenty-seven of the included studies specifically evaluated the presence of tibiofemoral OA in patients treated with ACL-R, whereas 2 studies assessed OA in only ACL-D patients who received conservative treatment,” (Toanen 2017). This is because the ACLR procedure requires manipulating the femur and the tibia to give the ACL a stake-like plantation so the ACL can be attached. “Two contiguous 5-mm tunnels inside the anatomic ACL femoral and tibial attachment areas along their long axes, and they are expanded with a 5 × 10-mm dilator into parallelepiped ones,” (Shino 2012). Drilling into bone
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