Introduction: Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear is a frequent injury and its reconstruction is among the most commonly performed orthopaedic surgical procedures. ACL reconstruction generally yields good results. However, its recovery can be hampered by the development of postoperative complications. The aim of this study was to review complications following arthroscopic ACL reconstruction done in Hospital Raja Permaisuri Bainun, Ipoh and Hospital Teluk Intan, Perak with the emphasis on arthrofibrosis. Arthrofibrosis is defined as a loss of 15 degrees extension or more, with or without flexion loss compared to the contralateral knee.
Materials and Methods: The study is based on a series of retrospective cases, on which medical records of 200 patients who underwent ACL reconstruction surgeries between March 2007 and December 2014 were reviewed. Follow-up treatment records were available for 166 patients (83%). The data was analysed to identify the risk factors for developing complications with an emphasis on arthrofibrosis.
Results: Eight patients (5%) developed arthrofibrosis in the post-operative period. Early surgical intervention, preoperative limited range of motion and female gender are the risk factors correlate with arthrofibrosis. However, the type of graft used and meniscal procedure do not have a significant correlation with the development of arthrofibrosis. Other complications encountered are local infections, hypertrophic scar and chronic regional pain syndromes.
Conclusion: The 5% incidence of arthrofibrosis following an ACL reconstruction in our centres can be reduced with proper preventive measures which include thorough preoperative evaluation, proper patient selection, restoration of ROM prior to surgery and proper timing of surgery.
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