Background: Little data exist on the effect of routine use of postoperative drainage after arthroscopic anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction, although clinical studies of other procedures have not shown benefit to this practice. Hypothesis: Use of a postoperative drain will not result in decreased suprapatellar girth, increased range of motion, and decreased pain compared with nonuse. Study Design: Prospective randomized clinical trial. Methods: Twenty-one patients undergoing arthroscopically assisted bone-patellar tendon-bone anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction were randomly assigned to receive a drain for 24 hours (12 patients) or no drain (9 patients). Data for comparison of groups were collected daily through postoperative day 7. Results: Pain scores on a visual analog scale demonstrated the same improving trend over time for both treatment and control groups; however, the treatment group had significantly higher average pain scores, except on day 7. Differences in suprapatellar girth, flexion, and extension were not found to be statistically significant between groups. Conclusion: Use of a drain after arthroscopically assisted anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction provided no benefit in terms of range of motion, effusion, or pain in the early postoperative period.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
- Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation