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March 2009 Mayo Clinic Health Letter Highlights Knee Repair Surgery, Anxiety Disorder and Preventing Blood Clots
Date:3/10/2009

ROCHESTER, Minn., March 10 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Here are highlights from the March issue of Mayo Clinic Health Letter. You may cite this publication as often as you wish. Reprinting is allowed for a fee. Mayo Clinic Health Letter attribution is required. Include the following subscription information as your editorial policies permit: Visit www.HealthLetter.MayoClinic.com or call toll-free for subscription information, 800-333-9037, extension 9771.

Active at 50? Still Prime for Knee Repair Surgery

A torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), a type of knee injury, doesn't have to permanently sideline active adults age 50 and older, according to the March issue of Mayo Clinic Health Letter.

The ACL is a key ligament that stabilizes and supports the knee joint. It connects the thigh bone (femur) to the shinbone (tibia) and controls movement of the lower leg. The ACL is an important knee stabilizer when twisting, pivoting or jumping.

On the tennis court or during other high-intensity activities, a loud "pop" emitted from the knee and severe pain are the first signs of a torn ACL. A partial or complete tear can result from a hard twist on the joint, a sudden stop while running, a jump landing, or a direct blow to the knee.

Until recently, ACL tears occurring after age 50, and even after age 40, were typically managed with nonsurgical care that included modified activity levels and physical therapy. The treatment led to recovery but not the same level of stability as surgical repair.

More people 50 and older are leading active lives, which makes them good candidates for surgical reconstruction of the ACL. The ligament is reconstructed with a piece of tendon from the leg or with a tendon from a donor cadaver. With successful surgery, act
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