Trends in Pediatric ACL Reconstruction From the PHIS Database

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Abstract

Background:

Previous studies have suggested that anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction surgeries are being performed with increased frequency in children and adolescents. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the trend in the frequency of ACL reconstructions normalized by total orthopaedic surgeries at pediatric hospitals nationwide.

Methods:

The Pediatric Health Information System (PHIS) database was queried for patients age 18 years or younger who underwent orthopaedic surgery at any of the PHIS-participating hospitals 2004-2014. The subset of patients who had been treated with ACL reconstruction were identified using Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) and International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision (ICD-9) procedure codes. The yearly rate was expressed as the number of ACL reconstructions per 1000 orthopaedic surgeries, and a linear model was used to fit the data to illustrate the relative trend.

Results:

In total, 470,126 orthopaedic surgeries, including 15,231 ACL reconstructions, were performed for patients 18 years or younger at 27 pediatric hospitals. ACL reconstructions were performed at a yearly rate of 32.4 per 1000 orthopaedic surgeries. Between 2004 and 2014, the number of ACL reconstructions increased 5.7-fold, whereas orthopaedic surgeries increased 1.7-fold; there was a 2.8-fold increase in ACL reconstructions relative to total pediatric orthopaedic surgeries. The 10-year relative fold increase was nearly equivalent across sexes, and the increasing trend in ACL reconstructions relative to orthopaedic surgeries was also seen across age groups.

Conclusions:

The number of ACL reconstructions performed for children and adolescents in pediatric hospitals nationwide markedly increased by nearly 3 times relative to orthopaedic surgeries over a recent 10-year period.

Level of Evidence:

Level IV.

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