Survey study of members of the Canadian Orthopaedic Association on the natural history and treatment of anterior cruciate ligament injury

Clin J Sport Med. 2011 May;21(3):249-58. doi: 10.1097/JSM.0b013e318219a649.


Objective: To describe current preferences and opinions of members of the Canadian Orthopaedic Association (COA) pertaining to anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction.

Design: Survey study.

Participants: All orthopedic surgeon members of the COA residing in Canada were invited to participate.

Main outcome measures: The primary measure was a survey completed via an Internet-based survey manager. It was composed of 30 questions on the natural history of ACL-injured knees, and surgical and postsurgical treatment choices.

Results: Two hundred eighty-three surgeons (50%) responded to the survey. One hundred forty-four performed ACL reconstruction in the past year. In terms of natural history, the only area of agreement was that hamstring and quadricep strength affects function in ACL-deficient knees (92%). A majority of surgeons indicated preference for hamstring autograft (73%), transtibial versus anteromedial portal for establishment of the femoral tunnel (70% vs 28%), and promotion of full weight bearing and range of motion immediately after surgery (72% and 75%, respectively). The most frequent surgeon-reported complication was tunnel widening (10%). A greater proportion of high-volume surgeons permitted earlier return to sport (P < 0.008).

Conclusions: In the rapidly evolving area of ACL reconstruction, no recent surveys of opinions and preferences of Canadian orthopedic surgeons have been published. In addition to providing information from a Canadian perspective, the findings from this study will allow surgeons to evaluate a range of treatment decisions based on the general opinions of their colleagues and also highlights areas of dissimilarity that can be targeted for more extensive research.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injuries*
  • Athletic Injuries / surgery*
  • Canada
  • Female
  • Health Care Surveys*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscle Strength / physiology
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology
  • Orthopedic Procedures / methods*
  • Postoperative Complications / epidemiology
  • Range of Motion, Articular / physiology
  • Recovery of Function / physiology
  • Societies, Medical