Study Favors Early Reintervention for Arthrofibrosis After ACL Reconstruction

Impressive ROM gains both in flexion and extension, as well as improvements in PROMs, were seen after arthroscopy for post-ACL recon knee stiffness

Smart Practice: If you’ve got a patient with arthrofibrosis after ACL reconstruction, consider pulling the trigger early on arthroscopic intervention — within 3 months — rather than waiting longer.

What’s the Claim?

A well-documented case series found that arthroscopic interventions for arthrofibrosis after ACL reconstruction (lysis of adhesions, excision of cyclops lesions, or arthroscopic posterior capsular release with or without manipulation) effectively restored motion and improved patient-reported outcomes scores. Those gains were maintained at two-year follow-up, which is what caused us to share this modest-but-important study. Patients who had the intervention for stiffness within three months of the ACL surgery did meaningfully better — scoring 15 points higher on the 100-point IKDC score — than did those who waited.

How’s It Stack Up?