The use of cold therapy in the postoperative management of patients undergoing arthroscopic anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction

Am J Sports Med. 1996 Mar-Apr;24(2):193-5. doi: 10.1177/036354659602400213.


In this prospective, randomized study we assessed the use of cold therapy after arthroscopic anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction. Seventy-one patients were randomly allocated, without the knowledge of the single surgeon, to one of three groups: Group I had an ice water-filled CryoCuff fitted in the operating theater after surgery, Group II had room temperature water in the CryoCuff, and Group III patients had no CryoCuff. Patients were well matched for age, sex, and associated surgery. An independent observer measured blood loss, analgesic use, range of motion, and visual analog pain scores postoperatively. There were no differences between any of the three groups regarding the variables measured. The use of cold therapy devices as an adjunct to the postoperative management of these patients must be questioned.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament / surgery*
  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injuries*
  • Arthroscopy
  • Cryotherapy*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Postoperative Care*
  • Prospective Studies