5 insights on pain management following outpatient ACL reconstruction

A study, published in The American Journal of Sports Medicine, evaluates randomized controlled trial results on pain control after ACL reconstruction in the outpatient setting.

Researchers conducted a systematic literature review using PubMed, Medline, Google Scholar, UpToDate, Cochrane Reviews, CINAHL and Scopus following PRISMA guidelines. A total of 77 randomized controlled trials, or RCTs, met inclusion criteria.

Here are five insights:

1. Researchers found regional nerve blocks and intra-articular injections were effective forms of analgesia for outpatient ACL reconstruction.

2.  The study found cryotherapy-compression also was beneficial, provided that intra-articular temperatures were sufficiently decreased.

3. Gabapentin, zolpidem, ketorolac and ibuprofen helped decrease opioid consumption.

4. Early mobilization helped reduce pain symptoms.

5. However, study authors concluded "further research is needed to determine the optimal multimodal approach that can maximize recovery while minimizing pain and opioid consumption."

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