Knee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy

, Volume 3, Issue 3, pp 148–156 | Cite as

Timing of surgery in anterior cruciate ligament-injured knees

  • K. D. Shelbourne
  • D. V. Patel
Review Article


Despite recent advances in the surgical techniques of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction in the past two decades, there is no consensus of opinion as to the ideal timing for ACL surgery. Based on the evolution of management of patients with ACL injuries over the period 1982–1994, we have found that various factors need to be considered in order to provide the best possible long-term result to the patient with minimal or no complications. In this review, we discuss the perioperative factors that one must consider to determine optimum timing for ACL surgery. Factors such as mental preparation of the patient; school, work, family, and social schedules; preoperative condition of the knee [i.e., minimal or no swelling, good strength, good leg control, and full range of motion (ROM) including full hyperextension]; and associated ligamentous and/or meniscal injuries must be considered before undertaking ACL surgery. With careful consideration of the above-mentioned factors and with our preoperative and postoperative rehabilitation program, we have been able to obtain predictable, successufl, long-term results following ACL reconstruction in our athletic population. We emphasize that every patient should be treated on his or her own merit, and treatment decisions must be individualized.

Key words

Anterior cruciate ligament Prevention of complications Timing of surgery 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. D. Shelbourne
    • 1
  • D. V. Patel
    • 1
  1. 1.The Methodist Sports Medicine CenterIndianapolisUSA

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