The authors report no relevant financial disclosures.
Published results showed pediatric patients whose families prefer a language other than English may experience longer delays between ACL injury and surgery compared with patients of English-speaking families.
Researchers from the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University retrospectively analyzed data on 543 patients (mean age of 16 years) who underwent primary ACL reconstruction (ACLR) between January 2011 and December 2021. According to the study, outcome measures included time between injury to surgery, concomitant meniscus injury and/or performance of meniscectomy.
Overall, 21% of patients (n = 113) preferred a language other than English, with 94% of these patients (n = 106) preferring the Spanish language. Researchers found median time between injury and ACL reconstruction was 69 days in patients whose families preferred English and 103 days in patients whose families preferred a language other than English.
After controlling for confounding variables such as age, demographics and insurance, researchers found that patients whose families preferred a language other than English had greater odds of undergoing surgery more than 60 days after injury (OR = 2.2) and more than 90 days after injury (OR 1.8). However, researchers found no association between language preference and surgical delays beyond 180 days, concomitant meniscal tears or performance of meniscectomy.
“In areas with a large proportion of families with a [preferred language other than English], partnerships with primary care clinicians, EDs, schools, athletic teams and community organizations may improve efficiency in the care of children with ACL injuries,” the researchers wrote in the study. “Clinicians proficient in other languages, reliable interpreter services and translated references and resources may also be impactful,” they added.