Working with the press to help educate and increase awareness

I have done a few articles recently with the 'Mail' in an effort to increase public awareness of advances in the management of cruciate ligament issues.

These include:

The young lacross player is back playing her sport now, and she says her knee feels 100% normal which is quite unusual after ACL surgery - but many of these repair patients do report that. And the nice thing is that, if anything does go wrong (and I have had no failures in the paediatric group and only one in the adult group) - you’ve only made these tiny little pilot holes, these tunnels, so it is like going back and doing a fresh ACL. (There is a paper here on this site that goes into more detail.) Where we have really seen a difference is in the multiligaments and the PCLs because we always used to have slackness in the PCL (or 90% of the time we would) and we just don't see that any more.

It is in my opinion important to work with the popular press, because they need information and it is better to clarify the issues and procedures discussed directly before journalists feel obliged to resort to referencing less authoritative sources and one another. When the media broke the story of the work of Steven Claes and colleagues (ref 1) in definitively identifying the anterolateral ligament it 'went viral' but caused distress with initial poor reportage, until more authoritative journals like the Times pulled the topic back into perspective.

Reference

Steven Claes, Evie Vereecke, Michael Maes, Jan Victor, Peter Verdonk, Johan Bellemans. Anatomy of the anterolateral ligament of the knee. Journal of Anatomy, 2013; 223 (4): 321 DOI: 10.1111/joa.12087


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