Number of scientific publications increases massively every year. All sorts of “novel techniques” and “novel approaches” are published continuously. Arthroscopic surgery is a good example. I would guess that ACL reconstrution surgery has the highest number of publications in the field of arthroscopic and sports surgery. Kay et al. published “historical analysis” in ACL surgery and concluded:
There has been a significant increase in both the quantity and quality of RCTs relating to ACL reconstruction over time.
In total they identified over 400 RCTs published prior to April 2016. That is a lot of studies and that´s only RCTs. Number of observational and other studes is probably many times higher!
There are lots of technical details to consider in ACL surgery: timing, graft type, fixation, augments, rehab etc. One would assume that all this research has led to something good for our patients. Unfortunately this aspect has drawn very little if any attention. It all boils down to a single question: has the prognosis, ie. risk of re-tear, risk of osteoarthrosis, rate of return-to-sports, of patient with ACL injury improved during the last two decades due to this massive research? This is something we should really consider in 2020s. And the same applies in all other topics in our field!