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Arthroscopic reconstruction of the anterior cruciate ligament was compared with reconstruction through a miniarthrotomy. The operation time was significantly longer with arthroscopy, but the Lysholm scores and activity levels were the same in both groups before and 1 year after the operation. There was no difference in quadriceps torque between the groups before surgery and at 3, 6, and 12 months postoperatively. The measured stability in 20° of knee flexion was similar in both groups before, immediately after, and 3, 6, and 12 months after surgery. A slow increase in the laxity was noted. One of 20 ligaments ruptured in the arthrotomy group due to a new trauma. In the arthroscopy group, there was one rupture due to abrasion. During the follow-up, two cases in the arthroscopy group had synovitis, in one case leading to removal of the prosthesis. There seems to be no major benefit from arthroscopic reconstruction in terms of rehabilitation. The miniarthrotomy is preferred since the notch plasty is easier to perform adequately during it than during arthroscopy.
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© 1988 Arthroscopy Association of North America. All rights reserved. Published by Elsevier Inc.