MONDAY, Sept. 19, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Children whose families prefer a language other than English experience a longer delay between anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury and surgery compared with families preferring English, according to a study published online Sept. 6 in Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research.

Samuel I. Rosenberg, from the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University in Chicago, and colleagues examined the relationship between language and clinical care for the treatment of ACL injury in children and adolescents. The analysis included 543 patients (aged 18 years and younger) undergoing primary ACL reconstruction (2011 to 2021).

The researchers found that a language other than English was preferred by 21 percent of patients, with the majority of these patients preferring Spanish (94 percent). The median time between injury and ACL reconstruction was shorter for families who preferred English compared with families with a preferred language other than English (69 versus 103 days). Patients whose families had a preferred language other than English had greater odds of undergoing surgery more than 60 days after injury (odds ratio, 2.2) and more than 90 days after injury (odds ratio, 1.8), even when controlling for insurance, age, and other factors.

“In areas with a large proportion of families with a preferred language other than English, partnerships with primary care clinicians, emergency departments, schools, athletic teams, and community organizations may improve efficiency in the care of children with ACL injuries,” the authors write.

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