Dr. Matava explains if anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) surgery is a routine procedure.
I think by the lay public that’s often a perception and there’s several reasons for that. The number of ACL reconstructions has taken off considerably since even I was in high school. I can’t tell, I don’t know of any friends of mine who ever had their ACL fixed or repaired or even injured for the most part. Now, we have patients who are 12 or 13 years of age, who are undergoing their second ACL reconstruction.
It is more common in women. Women are up to eight times more commonly injured. I think we see increased incidents of ACL surgery because again, along with Title 9 that has helped push a lot of women into the athletic arena, which is good because it means they are more physically fit, but it also means they are injuring themselves more. And because of that increasing number of women who are participating in sports and the modern methods of reconstruction that are available nowadays, or were not available 20 years ago, we see so many people undergoing the surgery, that it’s very commonplace, and before you couldn’t even use the abbreviation ACL. Patients wouldn’t know what you were talking about.
Now, they don’t even know what that stands for, but it actually stands for anterior cruciate ligament. You use the term AC and everyone either knows a relative or a friend or themselves who have had the surgery.
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.