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Arthroscopy. 1990;6(3):171-8.

Cyclops syndrome: loss of extension following intra-articular anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction.

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  • 1Southern California Center for Sports Medicine, Long Beach 90806.


Arthrofibrosis is one of the recognized complications following traditional anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction. With the advent of arthroscopic assisted ACL reconstructions, the extent of potential arthrofibrosis appeared to be less. However, 13 patients after intra-articular ACL reconstruction using a patella tendon autograft developed a similar symptom complex. In addition to postoperative loss of full extension, there was an audible and palpable clunk with terminal extension. These patients had similar arthroscopic findings of a nodule that formed anterolateral to the tibial tunnel placement of the graft. The arthroscopic appearance of the soft tissue mass with its surface vessels was reminiscent of a "cyclops." After arthroscopy with debridement and manipulation of the knee, extension was improved in all cases. The average range of motion immediately after the procedure was 6.0-130 degrees, compared with 16-103 degrees preoperatively. The range of motion at last follow-up averaged 3.8 degrees of extension and 138 degrees of flexion. All patients had greater than 130 degrees of flexion. There were no complications attributed to the manipulation and arthroscopic lysis of adhesions, and no patient experienced loss of graft integrity or knee stability. The "cyclops" nodule was examined grossly and microscopically and demonstrated peripheral fibrous tissue with a central region of granulation tissue in all specimens. In addition, two specimens were noted to include bony fragments and three specimens contained cartilaginous tissue.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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