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Study Suggests Surgeries Performed During a School Break are Better for a Youth's Academic Performance
Date:9/1/2009

Delaying surgery for a pediatric patient until a school break may decrease the number of future missed school days and the chances of disturbing academic performance, say authors of a new study published in the September issue of the American Journal of Sports Medicine.

Rosemont, IL (Vocus) September 1, 2009 -- Delaying surgery for a pediatric patient until a school break may decrease the number of future missed school days and the chances of disturbing academic performance, say authors of a new study published in the September issue of the American Journal of Sports Medicine.

The study evaluated 62 school-aged athletes who underwent an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) or a medial patellofemoral ligament (MPFL) reconstruction. Authors separate the athletes into three groups: those who had surgery during the school year, those who had surgery during a school holiday, and those who underwent surgery during summer break. Gathering data on how many school days were missed before the student returned to school and how students performed on tests after they returned, the study concluded that surgery on a school day causes more academic difficulties than surgery during a holiday or summer break.

"Most of the controversy surrounding timing of knee surgeries for children has centered on how developed is the child's skeletal frame. They also worry about the risks and benefits of delaying surgery versus early intervention. We don't want to discount the importance of those questions, but we also recognized there are more facets to deciding on the timing of surgery," explains Christopher S. Ahmad, MD, one of the study's a
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