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This article has been peer reviewed. It is the authors' final version prior to publication in Sports Health.

Volume 5, Issue 6, 2013, Pages 553-557.

The published version is available at DOI: 10.1177/1941738113489099. Copyright © Sage


Context: Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction is a safe, common, and effective method of restoring stability to the knee after injury, but evolving techniques of reconstruction carry inherent risk. Infection after ACL reconstruction, while rare, carries a high morbidity potentially resulting in poor clinical outcome.

Evidence Acquisition: Data were obtained from previously published peer-reviewed literature through a search of the entire PubMed database (up to December 2012) as well as from textbook chapters.

Results: Treatment with culture-specific antibiotics and debridement with graft retention is generally more effective than graft removal, but with persistent infection consideration should be given to graft removal. Graft type likely has no effect on infection rates.

Conclusions: The early diagnosis of infection and appropriate treatment are necessary to avoid the complications of articular cartilage damage and arthrofibrosis.

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