New ACL Repair Study is Promising but Limited, said ONS Knee Surgeon Demetris Delos, MD.
Today’s New York Times reports that using a patient’s own blood to help heal an ACL tear has shown promising results in a small study conducted by the Boston Children’s Hospital. While having a torn ligament heal itself could be the holy grail of ligament surgery, ONS knee surgeon, Demetris Delos, MD, cautions that more thorough research is needed. The trial involved only 10 patients and recovery was tracked just a few months after surgery. “These early results are exciting,” Dr. Delos said, “but it is important to see how these patients do in the medium and long term (several years after surgery) especially when it comes to returning to active lifestyles and the trials need to be expanded to much larger groups of people to see how it translates to the population at large.” Until the long term safety and efficacy can be determined, he said, current ACL reconstruction surgery, which replaces the injured ligament with a tendon from other areas of the body such as the hamstring or patellar tendon, will remain the standard as it has proven successful with predictable results and allows the majority of patients to return to their pre-injury activities.