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Frobell fully agrees with Levy that the study does not give patients or doctors a one-size-fits-all solution to treatment of ACL tears.
"Our study does not answer the question of specifically who needs ACL surgery. It does not look into what factors a patient has to have to need surgery to do well," he says. "We need a lot of more high-quality science in this area."
Some of that data may be coming soon. Levy says he'd like to see how Frobell's patients do in the long term. Frobell says the last patient in the study is just completing five years of follow-up observation. More information is on the way.
The Frobell study, and an editorial by Levy, appear in the July 22 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.