The natural history of conservatively treated partial anterior cruciate liagment tears

S. L. Buckley, R. L. Barrack, A. H. Alexander

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

93 Scopus citations


Twenty-five patients with arthroscopically proven partial ACL tears were reviewed. All patients underwent examination under anesthesia and arthroscopy following an acute injury to a previously normal knee. The percentage of tear was estimated during arthroscopy. Postoperatively, patients were treated with early motion and hamstring strengthening. Weightbearing and quadriceps rehabilitation were delayed. A detailed rating of symptoms and function was performed at a minimum of 18 months after injury, using a modification of the AOSSM ACL follow-up form. Neither the estimated percentage of ligament tear, length of followup, nor age at time of injury significantly correlated with clinical score at followup. Thirteen patients underwent partial meniscectomy at the time of original arthroscopy. Their clinical outcome was not different from those without meniscectomy. Two patients (8%) underwent ACL reconstruction 8 and 64 months after injury, respectively. Overall results were judged as excellent (28%), good (32%), fair (24%), and poor (16%). Only 44% were able to resume sports at their preinjury level, and 72% had activity-related symptoms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)221-225
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Sports Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1989


Dive into the research topics of 'The natural history of conservatively treated partial anterior cruciate liagment tears'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this