Orthopedic Practice Patterns Relating to Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction in Elite Athletes

Brandon J. Erickson, Joshua D. Harris, Yale A. Fillingham, Gregory L. Cvetanovich, Charles Bush-Joseph, Brian J. Cole, Bernard R. Bach, Nikhil N. Verma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


We conducted an online survey of National Hockey League (NHL), Major League Soccer (MLS), and US Olympic/World Cup Ski/Snowboard (Olympic) team orthopedic surgeons to determine practice patterns relating to anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction in elite athletes. Of the 94 team orthopedic surgeons surveyed, 47 (50%) responded. Mean (SD) experience as a team physician was 7.73 (5.33) years for NHL, 6.77 (6.64) years for MLS, and 1.14 (0.36) years for Olympic. Mean (SD) number of ACL reconstructions performed in 2012 was 101 (51) for NHL, 78 (38) for MLS, and 110 (105) for Olympic. Overall, 33 surgeons (70.2%) indicated they would use bone-patellar tendon-bone (BPTB) autograft to treat their starting athletes. Twenty-one (44.7%) drilled the femoral tunnel through a transtibial portal, 36.2% through an anteromedial portal, and 12.8% by a 2-incision technique. All the surgeons used a single-bundle technique. Thirty-three (70.2%) did not recommend a brace for their elite athletes during play on return to sport (RTS). Twenty-seven NHL and MLS surgeons (81.8%) recommended RTS only after an athlete has passed a series of RTS tests (eg, Vail, single-leg hop). Most of the NHL, MLS, and Olympic team orthopedic surgeons who were surveyed perform their ACL reconstructions using BPTB autograft, using a single-bundle technique, and through a transtibial portal, and do not require bracing for their athletes returning to sport. Most required their athletes to complete a series of RTS tests before resuming competitive play.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E480-E485
JournalAmerican journal of orthopedics (Belle Mead, N.J.)
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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