Impact of Surgical Waitlist on Quality of Life
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Prolonged surgical wait times have been associated with reduced quality of life (QoL) in patients requiring orthopedic surgery. However, the effects on patients awaiting anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction surgery remains to be established. Here, it is determined that being on a waitlist for ACL reconstruction surgery reduces patients' QoL through negatively impacting disability, physical, and emotional health. A survey assessing patients' disability, physical, and emotional health was administered to 50 patients on the waitlist for ACL reconstruction surgery. Data were divided into two groups based on the wait time for surgery: ≤ 182 and > 182 days. Patients on the waitlist > 182 days either lost their job or had it significantly modified more often than those waiting ≤ 182 days. A total of 63% of the respondents reported feeling that their overall physical health deteriorated significantly or somewhat due to their ACL injury. A total of 51% of all patients reported feeling sad/depressed all or most of the time because they were not able to participate in their main sport due to their ACL injury. Our findings provide evidence that the wait times for ACL reconstruction surgery be reduced or nonoperative modalities be prescribed to mitigate the negative impact that prolonged surgical wait times have on patients' QoL.
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