Cryotherapy after ACL reconstruction: a meta-analysis.

Published

Journal Article (Review)

Cryotherapy is a common treatment modality after orthopedic surgery procedures. Single institutional randomized clinical trials have evaluated the efficacy of cryotherapy after arthroscopically-assisted anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction. Most of these studies were, however, underpowered to detect clinically relevant outcomes differences. This meta-analysis assessed the combined scientific evidence of studies evaluating the effectiveness of cryotherapy after arthroscopically-assisted ACL reconstruction. Electronic databases and bibliographic references of relevant articles were used to identify all relevant randomized clinical trials comparing cryotherapy to a placebo group after ACL reconstruction. Outcomes under investigation were postoperative drainage, range of motion, and pain. Random-effects models were used to combine the findings of the randomized controlled trials. Seven randomized clinical trials were included in the meta-analysis. Postoperative drainage (P=.23) and range of motion (P=.25) were not significantly different between cryotherapy and control group. However, cryotherapy was associated with significantly lower postoperative pain (P=.02). This meta-analysis showed that cryotherapy has a statistically significant benefit in postoperative pain control, while no improvement in postoperative range of motion or drainage was found. As the cryotherapy apparatus is fairly inexpensive, easy to use, has a high level of patient satisfaction, and is rarely associated with adverse events, we believe that cryotherapy is justified in the postoperative management of knee surgery.

Full Text

Cited Authors

  • Raynor, MC; Pietrobon, R; Guller, U; Higgins, LD

Published Date

  • April 2005

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 18 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 123 - 129

PubMed ID

  • 15915833

Pubmed Central ID

  • 15915833

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1938-2480

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1538-8506

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1055/s-0030-1248169

Language

  • eng