Influence of Age on Healing Capacity of Acute Tears of the Anterior Cruciate Ligament Based on Magnetic Resonance Imaging Assessment

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The purpose of this study was to evaluate the influence of patient age on the effects of conservative treatment of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL).


A total of 102 consecutive patients with acute ACL injury were allowed to heal without surgery. Final magnetic resonance imaging images of the ACL were classified from grade I, indicating good morphological recovery, to grade IV, indicating poor recovery. Chi-square analysis was used to determine significant differences in the incidence of grades I and II among those less than 20 versus those 20 years or more of age.


The mean follow-up to final magnetic resonance imaging was 9 months. A significant difference in the frequency of grades I and II was observed between age groups (<20 years, 13.0%; ≥20 years, 69.6%; P < 0.0001).


ACL injury was more severe, and morphological recovery with conservative treatment was poorer among younger patients than among adults.

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