The rate of anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction in Australia is high: a national registry is needed

John W Orchard, Lars Engebretsen and Julian A Feller
Med J Aust 2018; 208 (8): . || doi: 10.5694/mja18.00095
Published online: 7 May 2018

Supporting a registry is an investment in the long term health of our nation

This issue of the MJA includes the results of an important study that again indicate the high rate of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction in Australia.1 It was already known that Australia has relatively high rates of knee ACL injuries, surgical reconstruction,2,3 and knee replacement (arthroplasty).4 The new data highlight worrying increases in the rates of both primary and revision ACL reconstruction, particularly in adolescents.1 Many factors could potentially explain an increase in the rate of ACL surgery, including more accurate diagnosis, greater access to surgery, and more people playing sport (factors that would be pleasing), but also an increase in the rate of ACL injuries per exposure (which would be disappointing). It is harder to envisage a positive explanation for an increase in the revision ACL reconstruction rate, but it is important to differentiate between contributors to failure, particularly between surgical factors (ie, techniques associated with a higher failure rate) and rehabilitation factors, such as returning to sport before adequate functional recovery has been achieved.5,6

  • John W Orchard1
  • Lars Engebretsen2
  • Julian A Feller3

  • 1 University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW
  • 2 University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway
  • 3 OrthoSport Victoria, Melbourne, VIC


Competing interests:

No relevant disclosures.


remove_circle_outline Delete Author
add_circle_outline Add Author

Do you have any competing interests to declare? *

I/we agree to assign copyright to the Medical Journal of Australia and agree to the Conditions of publication *
I/we agree to the Terms of use of the Medical Journal of Australia *
Email me when people comment on this article

Online responses are no longer available. Please refer to our instructions for authors page for more information.