Young-Lae Moon, Dong-Hui Kim, Sang-Hong Lee

Department of Orthopedics Surgery, Chosun University, Gwangju, Korea

Keywords: Anterior cruciate ligament/injuries; arthroscopy; electrocoagulation/methods; knee injuries; posterior cruciate ligament/injuries; rupture/surgery.


Objectives: We evaluated the short-term clinical results of thermal shrinkage with radiofrequency for anterior and posterior cruciate ligament laxity in conditions not indicated for reconstructive surgery.
Patients and methods: The study included nine patients (mean age 33 years) with anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), and five patients (mean age 27 years) with posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) injuries, all of whom did not require reconstruction. Three patients had both ACL and PCL injuries. The time from injury to operation ranged from three to 26 months in ACL injuries, and from eight to 17 weeks in PCL injuries. All the patients received conservative treatment before radiofrequency shrinkage. Thermal shrinkage was performed twice in ACL injuries, and four times in PCL injuries. The mean follow-up period was eight months (range 3 to 13 months). Functional evaluations were made according to the modified Lysholm knee scoring scale.
Results: The mean modified Lysholm knee score was 76 prior to operation, and 86 three months after the operation. Scores of instability in daily activities, limping, and pain showed great improvement after the procedure. Efficient thermal shrinkage was observed immediately after the operation. However, recurrent knee laxity was observed subsequently, especially in the PCL injuries.
Conclusion: Thermal shrinkage using radiofrequency is a recommendable procedure in treating active young patients with partial cruciate ligament ruptures which are not indicated for reconstructive surgery.