Background and purpose: No prospective surveillance systems have been available for monitoring the outcome of cruciate ligament surgery in Scandinavia (Denmark, Norway, and Sweden). In the present paper we describe the Scandinavian ACL registries including their main function, similarities, and preliminary baseline results.
Methods: The Scandinavian registries were established in 2004 (Norway) and 2005 (Denmark and Sweden). The Danish and Swedish registries were originally based on the Norwegian registry, and there is no overriding difference between the three. In Denmark, all hospitals and clinics are legally bound to report to an approved national database. In Norway and Sweden, the registries are based on voluntarily reporting by surgeons.
Results: The annual incidence of primary ACL reconstructions is higher in Denmark than in Norway, except in females younger than 20 years. Among Scandinavian surgeons, there is a similar approach to the patients. Differences do, however, exist regarding choice of grafts, choice of implants, and choice of treatment of simultaneous meniscal and cartilage injuries; the proportion of ACL reconstructions performed as outpatient surgery; and the use of prophylactic anticoagulation. Clinically, the preoperative KOOS scores are not significantly different between the Scandinavian registries, except that Denmark reports more symptoms both pre- and postoperatively.
Interpretation: The Scandinavian national ACL registries will generate new data about ACL reconstructions. They will contribute important knowledge regarding ACL epidemiology. They will be the only source of data on the performance of a wide range of different implants and techniques. In addition, they will hopefully have an impact on the selection of methods for ACL reconstructions in Scandinavia and elsewhere.