Epidemiological Trends of Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction in a Canadian Province

Clin J Sport Med. 2020 Nov;30(6):e207-e213. doi: 10.1097/JSM.0000000000000676.


Objective: To determine epidemiological trends of anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction (ACL-R) in a Canadian province, estimate the national incidence, and compare with internationally published data.

Design: Retrospective review.

Setting: All hospitals that performed ACL reconstructions in Manitoba between 1980 and 2015.

Participant: All patients that underwent ACL-R in Manitoba between 1980 and 2015.

Intervention: This is a retrospective review looking at deidentified, individual-level administrative records of health services used for the entire population of Manitoba (approximately 1.3 million). Codes for ACL and cruciate ligament reconstruction were searched from 1980 to 2015. Patient demographics included age, sex, geographic area of residence, and neighborhood income quintile.

Main outcome measures: Trends of ACL reconstructions from 1980 to 2015.

Results: A total of 10 114 ACL-R were performed during the 36-year study period and patients were predominantly male (63.1%). The mean age at ACL-R was 29.5 years (SD 10.0) for males and 28.5 years (SD 11.9) for females, whereas age younger than 40 years accounted for 81.7% of all ACL-R. The incidence of ACL-R increased from 7.56/100 000 inhabitants in 1980 to 48.45/100 000 in 2015. The proportion of females undergoing ACL-R has increased from 29.3% in 1980% to 41.9% in 2015, and female patients now comprise the majority of ACL-R in the under-20 age category.

Conclusion: The incidence of ACL-R has significantly increased since 1980; female patients now make up a greater proportion than males of the ACL-R population younger than 20 years. This information can be used to guide resource allocation planning and focus injury prevention initiatives.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction / statistics & numerical data
  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction / trends*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Manitoba
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sex Distribution
  • Time Factors
  • Young Adult