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Partial versus complete acute anterior cruciate ligament tears. The results of nonoperative treatment

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A study was undertaken to determine whether a significantly different clinical outcome could be expected following nonoperative treatment of acute partial anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears from that of complete tears. A detailed follow-up of 107 patients with arthroscopically confirmed tears was obtained; 72 were complete tears and 35 partial. The overall results in those with partial tears were 23% excellent, 29% good, 17% fair, and 31% poor; with complete tears the results were 11% excellent, 20% good, 15% fair, and 54% poor. The patients with partial tears had a lower incidence of associated meniscal tears, needed fewer reconstructions and more of them returned to sport than those with complete tears.

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