Public Release: 

Research consortium identifies predictors of successful ACL reconstruction

Cleveland Clinic to present a decade of MOON ACL research at American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Annual Meeting

Cleveland Clinic

Tuesday, March 11, 2014 Cleveland: Researchers have found that a patient's age and the type of tissue graft have a direct impact on ACL reconstructive surgery (ACLR) outcomes, according to an exhibit presented March 11 at the 2014 American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) annual meeting in New Orleans.

Researchers from Cleveland Clinic and six other member institutions will present findings on surgical reconstruction of anterior cruciate ligaments from the Multicenter Orthopaedics Outcomes Network (MOON), led by Cleveland Clinic's Kurt Spindler, M.D., principal investigator of the project for over 10 years.

"The goal is to improve a majority of ACL reconstruction outcomes and highlight the changes in ACLR practice. For instance, the use of auto-graft (vs. allograft) tissue resulted in lower percent failure after ACLR surgery for high school, college, and competitive athletes," said Dr. Spindler, Vice Chairman of Research at Cleveland Clinic's Orthopaedic & Rheumatologic Institute. "This is the first time we looked at risk factors and found that with the right combination, athletes can avoid complete failure and future ACL reconstructions post-surgery."

MOON consists of 17 surgeons from seven institutions. It has helped to establish a new "gold standard" for conducting multi-center, multi-surgeon orthopaedic research.

"This is a compilation of all of the clinically important questions we've answered that will positively benefit patients and enhance their quality of life," said Richard D. Parker, M.D., Chair of Orthopaedic Surgery at Cleveland Clinic.

MOON is a hypothesis-driven, prospective study designed to determine prognosis and predictors of ACLR outcomes. The project has provided a model for multicenter, multi-surgeon orthopaedic research and comparative effectiveness research in orthopaedics. The MOON consortium was created in 2001, and enrolled and followed 2,340 ACLR procedures from seven institutions.

With an estimated 200,000 ACLRs performed annually in the U.S., there is an emphasis to help guide more informed, personalized decision making between physicians and patients. Other modifications include treatment options for meniscus and cartilage injuries, as well as post-ACLR lifestyle choices.

Dr. Spindler recently joined Cleveland Clinic after 23 years as Head Team Physician, Director of Sports Medicine, and Vice Chairman of Orthopaedics at Vanderbilt University. He returned to Cleveland Clinic after a sports medicine/orthopaedics fellowship in 1990-91.

The presentation will take place 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., Tuesday, March 11.


For more information on the abstract

For more information about Cleveland Clinic's Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and Center for Sports Health

This research was supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health (5R01 AR053684 and 5K23 AR052392) , and the Center for Education and Research on Therapeutics - Agency of Health Research and Quality (5 U18-HS016075).

About Cleveland Clinic

Cleveland Clinic is a nonprofit multispecialty academic medical center that integrates clinical and hospital care with research and education. Located in Cleveland, Ohio, it was founded in 1921 by four renowned physicians with a vision of providing outstanding patient care based upon the principles of cooperation, compassion and innovation. Cleveland Clinic has pioneered many medical breakthroughs, including coronary artery bypass surgery and the first face transplant in the United States. U.S. News & World Report consistently names Cleveland Clinic as one of the nation's best hospitals in its annual "America's Best Hospitals" survey. More than 3,000 full-time salaried physicians and researchers and 11,000 nurses represent 120 medical specialties and subspecialties. The Cleveland Clinic health system includes a main campus near downtown Cleveland, eight community hospitals, more than 75 Northern Ohio outpatient locations, including 16 full-service Family Health Centers, Cleveland Clinic Florida, the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Las Vegas, Cleveland Clinic Canada, and, currently under construction, Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi. In 2012, there were 5.1 million outpatient visits throughout the Cleveland Clinic health system and 157,000 hospital admissions. Patients came for treatment from every state and from more than 130 countries. Visit us at Follow us at

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