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Open Access Open Badges Research article

Effect of haemarthrosis on the rehabilitation of anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction- single bundle versus double bundle

Vibhu Bahl*, Ankit Goyal, Vineet Jain, Deepak Joshi and Deepak Chaudhary

Author Affiliations

Sports Injury Centre, Safdarjang Hospital, Delhi, 110092, India

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Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery and Research 2013, 8:5  doi:10.1186/1749-799X-8-5

Published: 19 March 2013



Haemarthrosis and pain adversely affects the functional outcome of ACL reconstruction, especially in case of DB ACL reconstruction due to more extensive procedure. The purpose of the study was to evaluate the effect of haemarthrosis on the rehabilitation of DB ACL reconstruction versus SB ACL reconstruction.


100 patients were divided into two groups, of SB ACL and DB ACL reconstruction consisting of 50 patients each. An intra-articular drain was put in every patient. The pain was evaluated till week 8 using VAS (Visual Analog Scale). The Functional outcomes were evaluated using the Isokinetic Dynamometer at 3 and 6 months in both the groups. Muscle bulk and Range of motion were also noted in each group.


The results showed that there was statistically significant difference between the drain amount (n = 60.3 ml in SB ACL group vs. n = 94.2 ml in the DB ACL group) and haemarthrosis (n = 0.7 in SB ACL vs n = 1.5 in DB ACL) at week 1 post-operatively. Also the pain outcome improved on SB ACL after day 3 (VAS, n = 1.8) as compared to the DB ACL group (VAS, n = 3.7). The isokinetic muscle strength was found to be statistically significantly (p value < 0.05) better in the SB ACL group in the quadriceps muscle (both concentric and eccentric) at the end of the 3rd month. In the SB ACL group the Quadriceps Concentric strength deficit was 22.32% as compared to 34.12% in the DB ACL group. Both the groups had comparable flexor muscle strength at end of 3rd month. Both the groups had comparable muscle strength after 6 months of post-operative rehabilitation in both quadriceps and Hamstring muscle group.


We noted that rehabilitation of DB ACL reconstruction group lags behind that of SB ACL reconstruction during the first 3 months due to post-operative haemarthrosis & its effects, but show comparable results after 6 months. The muscle strength measured isokinetically and the muscle bulk were found to be greater in the SB ACL group initially after 3 months but was found to be similar after 6 months.

Haemarthrosis; Drain; Double bundle ACL; Isokinetic; Muscle strength