Inpatients vs. outpatient ACL reconstruction: Is there a significant difference in postoperative discomfort?

Patients undergoing outpatient ACL reconstruction did not show more symptoms of postoperative discomfort than those undergoing the procedure on an inpatient basis, according to a study in Orthopaedics & Traumatology: Surgery & Research.

The non-randomized, prospective, comparative study included patients undergoing ACL reconstruction. The principal assessment criterion was onset of at least one symptom of postoperative discomfort within the first three days after surgery. The study included 133 patients who filled out a questionnaire — 70 in the outpatient group and 63 in the inpatient group.

Here are five insights:

1. In the first three days post-surgery, the proportion of patients with one or more symptoms of postoperative discomfort was comparable between the inpatient and outpatient groups.

2. The outpatient group had significantly less difficulty sleeping the first night postoperatively.

3. The outpatient group patients also got up significantly more often during the first night after surgery and walked regularly more often on the first day after surgery.

4. The outpatient group patients were woken by pain during the first night postoperatively much less often.

5. Risk factors for symptoms of postoperative discomfort were gender and postoperative complications.

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