Acute Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction Performed Within 10 Days of Injury Does Not Increase Risk of Postoperative Arthrofibrosis: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

Zachary S. Aman, Olivia K. Blaber, Emily R. McDermott, Mikalyn T. DeFoor, Nicholas N. DePhillipo, Jonathan F. Dickens, Travis J. Dekker*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: The optimal timing of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction (ACLR) remains a controversial topic. Previous reviews have demonstrated that there are no differences between early and delayed ACLR; however, these studies have been limited by heterogeneous definitions of acute ACL injury. Purpose: To evaluate postoperative patient functional outcomes and risk for arthrofibrosis after acute arthroscopic ACLR performed ≤10 days after injury. Study Design: Systematic review; Level of evidence, 4. Methods: A systematic review was performed according to PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses) guidelines using multiple medical databases. Inclusion criteria were studies that evaluated postoperative range of motion outcomes for patients undergoing ACLR ≤10 days after initial ACL injury. For included comparative studies comparing patient groups undergoing ACLR ≤10 days and patients undergoing “delayed” ACLR after ≥3 weeks of initial injury, quantitative analysis was performed to assess for differences in postoperative arthrofibrosis, reoperation rates, and patient-reported outcomes between groups. DerSimonian-Laird binary random-effects models were constructed to quantitatively describe the association between the ACLR time period and patient outcomes by generating effect estimates in the form of odds ratios with 95% CIs. Qualitative analysis was performed to describe variably reported patient outcomes and the risk of arthrofibrosis after ACLR for noncomparative studies. Results: Screening yielded 6 full-text articles with 448 patients who underwent ACLR (296 ACLR <10 days, 152 ACLR >3 weeks), with a pooled mean age of 28.1 years. For studies amenable to quantitative analysis, there were no significant differences between ACLR performed ≤10 days and ACLR performed at the 3-week point or after in terms of postoperative stiffness (3 studies; odds ratio, 1.27; P =.508), Tegner scores (2 studies; mean difference, –0.056; P =.155), or reoperation for stiffness (3 studies; odds ratio, 0.869; P =.462). The overall incidence of postoperative arthrofibrosis after 12 months of follow-up was 11 of 296 (3.7%) for ACLRs performed ≤10 days versus 6 of 152 (3.9%) for those performed at the 3-week point or after. Conclusion: ACLR performed ≤10 days after the inciting injury does not increase the risk of postoperative arthrofibrosis and demonstrates similar patient-reported outcomes compared with ACLR performed at the 3-week point or after.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1888-1896
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Sports Medicine
Volume52
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2024
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • acute
  • anterior cruciate ligament
  • anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction
  • arthrofibrosis

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