Faculty Sponsor

Jana Stedman




Masters of Physician Assistant Studies

Presentation Type

Poster Presentation

Symposium Date

Summer 7-26-2023



PICOT: In adults and adolescents ages 14-65, does early operative ACL reconstruction surgery result in better health outcomes and full recovery with return to play when compared with delayed or nonoperative treatment for ACL surgery?

Objective: The objective of this paper is to use evidence based practice and medicine and a review of literature to determine the best timeline for anterior cruciate ligament surgical repair for optimal recovery and return to activity. Currently, there are three main standards of care when it comes to an anterior cruciate ligament tear: non-operative treatment, early operative treatment, and delayed operative treatment. To explore the best standard of practice for the time interval for ACL reconstruction, this paper will look at systematic reviews, meta-analysis, and other research studies.

Methods: To determine the best treatment outline, the Valparaiso University online library catalog named “Summons" was used to find peer-reviewed and academic resources on the topic published within the last five years.

Results: The studies reviewed came to the conclusion that early-operative anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction is favored to delayed operative treatment or nonoperative treatment for anterior cruciate ligament tears.

Conclusion: The results of this paper concluded that early operative ACL reconstruction within 3 weeks of the original injury results in greater knee stability, less pain, greater range of motion, higher knee-related quality of life, less knee related symptoms, maintained activities of daily living, and greater recreational ability, when compared to late operative or nonoperative treatment.

Keywords: “ACL reconstruction,” “delayed operative treatment,” “ACL tear,” “Early operative ACL reconstruction,” “delayed ACL reconstruction”

Biographical Information about Author(s)

Madeline McDonald has a special interest in orthopedics and plans on working in a surgical specialty following graduation and completion of Butler University’s Doctorate in Medical Science program. They are a student member of professional organizations such as Indiana Academy of Physician Assistants (IAPA) and the American Academy of Physician Associates (AAPA), as well as the Valparaiso University Physician Assistant Student Society (VUPASS).