Operative versus non-operative treatment of recent injuries to the ligaments of the knee. A prospective randomized study.

Sandberg R, Balkfors B, Nilsson B, Westlin N. J Bone Joint Surg Am 1987 Oct;69(8):1120-6.

Two hundred consecutively seen patients who had an injury to either the anterior cruciate ligament or the medial collateral ligament, or both, were randomly allocated to treatment by either conservative or a surgical regimen. Injuries to the medial collateral ligament could not be demonstrated to benefit from surgical treatment in any respect–with or without surgery the results were excellent. With injuries to the anterior cruciate ligament, recovery was more rapid without surgery but otherwise the results differed between the groups in only one respect: the pivot-shift test was more often positive after conservative treatment. The results were good in both treatment groups even though most of the patients who had an injury of the anterior cruciate ligament were somewhat less pleased with the outcome after a period of time.