Randomized controlled trial comparing all-inside anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction technique with anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction with a full tibial tunnel

Arthroscopy. 2013 Jul;29(7):1195-200. doi: 10.1016/j.arthro.2013.04.009.


Purpose: The purpose of this investigation was to compare the clinical effectiveness of full-tunnel anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstructive surgery with all-inside ACL reconstruction.

Methods: After statistical power analysis was performed and institutional review board approval and patient informed consent were obtained, 150 patients having ACL reconstruction were prospectively randomized to an all-inside or full-tibial tunnel technique. Outcome (International Knee Documentation Committee [IKDC] Knee Examination Form, IKDC Subjective Knee Evaluation Form, Knee Society Score [KSS], Short Form 12 [SF-12] score, femoral or tibial tunnel or socket widening, narcotic consumption, and visual analog scale [VAS] pain score compared with baseline) was measured and recorded preoperatively and at various postoperative time points with a minimum follow-up of 2 years.

Results: There were no differences between groups with regard to IKDC Knee Examination Form, IKDC Subjective Knee Evaluation Form, KSS score, SF-12 score, or femoral socket or tibial tunnel or socket widening, or narcotic consumption. The VAS pain score compared with baseline was significantly lower for the all-inside technique on day 1, on day 7, at 1.5 weeks, and at 24 months.

Conclusions: The null hypothesis (no difference between all-inside ACL reconstruction and ACL reconstruction with a full tibial tunnel) is supported for IKDC scores, KSS score, SF-12 score, narcotic consumption, and tibial and femoral widening, whereas all-inside ACL reconstruction results in a lower VAS pain score compared with baseline.

Level of evidence: Level I, randomized controlled clinical trial with greater than 80% patient follow-up 2 years postoperatively.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Acetaminophen / administration & dosage
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Analgesics, Opioid / administration & dosage
  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction / methods*
  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction / rehabilitation
  • Drug Combinations
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Oxycodone / administration & dosage
  • Prospective Studies
  • Tibia / surgery*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult


  • Analgesics, Opioid
  • Drug Combinations
  • oxycodone-acetaminophen
  • Acetaminophen
  • Oxycodone