VDC test kit slider
VDC-Banner-new_468
VDC test kit slider
sunfriend-banner
sperti logo 1
Text size A A A
High contrast on off

Information on the latest vitamin D news and research.

Find out more information on deficiency, supplementation, sun exposure, and how vitamin D relates to your health.

Low vitamin D impairs strength recovery after knee surgery

This weekend, scientists from an American medical institution published a study that has practical implications for patients undergoing ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) surgery.

The study, by a group in Utah, may have answered in part the long sought question of why some patients do well after knee surgery (quickly regain strength in their quadriceps) and some do not. Dr. Tyler Barker, of the Orthopedic Specialty Hospital in Murray, Utah, and his colleagues at the University of Utah (where I did a surgical internship back in 1976) discovered that vitamin D levels are associated with muscle strength recovery after knee surgery (anterior cruciate repair). Those with levels above 30 ng/ml recovered much better than those with levels below 30 ng/ml.

Barker T, Martins TB, Hill HR, Kjeldsberg CR, Trawick RH, Weaver LK, Traber MG. Low Vitamin D Impairs Strength Recovery After Anterior Cruciate Ligament Surgery. Journal of Evidence-Based Complementary & Alternative Medicine. published 29 July 2011, 10.1177/2156587211413768

I found it somewhat disappointing that the authors refused to say that vitamin D deficiency should be treated before knee surgery. All they would say was that Americans should fund more studies before any action is taken. Of course this is neither practical or ethical, as physicians are (and always have been) obligated to act on what is known now — not on what may or may not be discovered in the future. Randomized trials of vitamin D supplemention need to be undertaken to discover what the optimum vitamin D level for knee surgery is. But such trials will take years, while orthopedists need to act, or not, now.

  About: John Cannell, MD

Dr. John Cannell is founder of the Vitamin D Council. He has written many peer-reviewed papers on vitamin D and speaks frequently across the United States on the subject. Dr. Cannell holds an M.D. and has served the medical field as a general practitioner, emergency physician, and psychiatrist.