Published: 2018-04-25

Improved rehabilitation and functional outcome with dedicated joint irrigation at the end of ACL reconstruction

Ajeet Singh, Rakesh Kumar, Rajni Ranjan, Avijit Mahajan


Background: ACL is most common ligament injured during sports. Postoperative pain and swelling is one of the major limiting factors for the rehabilitation of ACL reconstructed patients. Cryotherapy and intra-articular bupivacaine injection are few measures to reduce the pain. One of the main reason for pain is inflammatory mediators, by joint irrigation it reduce the inflammatory mediator that reduce pain and swelling.

Methods: We treated 33 patients of ACL injury with arthroscopic ACL reconstruction from July 2015 to April 2017. Postoperative pain and swellings were assed with VAS and suprapatellar fullness. VAS assessment done on 1st day, 2nd day and 12th day and for swelling 2nd day and 12th day. We had used closed loop endobutton for femur and bioscrew for tibia. In twenty patients at the end of the surgery we used 2 liter saline for joint irrigation.

Results: As a result of wash of pro inflammatory mediators and debris, there were reduced inflammation which reduces pain and swelling. Patients who received irrigation had less VAS score and suprapatellar fullness than the other group. There was better knee flexion on 12th day.

Conclusions: Adding up a dedicated joint irrigation at the end of surgery does not deviate from standard surgical protocol. No studies have stress upon joint irrigation. It reduce the pain and swelling by reducing inflammation which gives better result.



Anterior cruciate ligament, Visual analogue scale, Suprapatellar fullness

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