Effect of drains on dynamic proprioception after arthroscopically assisted anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction

Atul Mahajan


Background: Decrease in proprioception and kinesthesia occurs after ACL injury. Changes occurring within the joint following injury affect normal recruitment and firing patterns of the surrounding musculature. There are little data in the literature with reference to drain use after arthroscopic procedures on the knee or ACL reconstruction. The objective of the study was to determine the effect of postoperative drain use on proprioception after arthroscopically assisted anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction with quadrupled hamstring graft.

Methods: In this study, 54 arthroscopic ACL reconstruction patients were randomized for either intra-articular suction drain group or non-drain group. Outcome Assessment was done at 1 month, 3, 6 and 12 months after the surgery in which patients were assessed using Star excursion balance test by measuring excursion distances in each of the 8 directions.

Results: Excursion distances in eight directions showed more increment in drainage tube (DT) group compared to no DT group. However it was found to be statistically significant only for posteromedial (p =0.018) and medial directions (p <0.001).

Conclusions: Postoperative drain should be used after arthroscopically assisted anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction with quadrupled hamstring graft for improving the deficits in dynamic posture control.


Anterior cruciate ligament, Star excursion balance test, Proprioception, Drains, Hamstring graft

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