Dr. Matava explains if a woman's knee is more likely to wear out quicker if she puts off anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) surgery.
Well, that’s the million-dollar question and we still don’t have a really good answer to that. There is actually some data that suggests women who undergo ACL surgery actually have a little bit higher risk of arthritis in the long run than those who don’t undergo the surgery.
Now there’s a lot of factors that may play into that. For example, how aggressive they are. Are they a knee abuser, as we call it, where they go out and they do cutting, twisting and pivoting sports with a bad knee? Do they have other alternative problems such as cartilage or meniscal tears that also may portend a poor prognosis?
So we really don’t know how much we are protecting the knee from long-term arthritis by doing an early surgery. What we do know is that modern-day methods of reconstruction help to stabilize the knee so women can get back to activities involve cutting, jumping, twisting and pivoting.
About Dr. Matava, M.D.:
Dr. Matthew J. Matava, M.D., is an associate professor and orthopedic surgeon at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Specializing in sports medicine, his clinical areas of interest include ligament injuries of the knee, athletic injuries of the shoulder and elbow, and pediatric orthopedic knee disorders.