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Single Intravenous Administration of Tranexamic Acid in Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction to Reduce Postoperative Hemarthrosis and Increase Functional Outcomes in the Early Phase of Postoperative Rehabilitation: A Randomized Controlled Trial

      Purpose

      To evaluate the effect of tranexamic acid (TXA) in patients undergoing anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction in reducing intra-articular effusion and affecting clinical outcomes 3 months after surgery.

      Methods

      Eighty consecutive patients undergoing ACL reconstruction were prospectively assessed from 2014 to 2016. Patients were randomly allocated to 1 of 2 groups: The test group received an intravenous infusion of 15 mg/kg of TXA, and the control group did not receive TXA. The patellar circumference, range of motion (ROM), Coupens and Yates (CY) value, visual analog scale score for pain assessment, and quadriceps strength (QS) were considered on postoperative day (PD) 1, PD 7, and PD 15 and at 1 month and 3 months after surgery. Blood volume in the intra-articular drainage was recorded on PD 1. Any adverse effect, such as fever onset (>37.5°C), hemarthrosis, or infection, was also considered.

      Results

      We found a statistically significant reduction in drainage blood volume (P < .001) and CY value (P = .0044) on PD 1 in patients in the test group compared with those in the control group. On PD 7, a significant improvement was found for mean CY values (P = .0057), ROM (P = .0031), and QS (P = .015). On PD 15, we noted significant improvements in CY values (P < .001), patellar circumference (P = .0019), QS (P = .0089), and visual analog scale values (P = .0032) in the test group. We noted 13 fever episodes in the control group and 2 fever episodes in the study group (P = .047). No differences for any outcomes or complications were found at 3 months.

      Conclusion

      TXA administration reduced hemarthrosis and the amount of suction drainage blood volume, improved ROM and QS, and reduced fever episodes during the first 2 weeks after surgery. TXA use improved early-phase outcomes in the postoperative period after ACL reconstruction.

      Level of Evidence

      Level I, randomized controlled trial.
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