Temperature changes in the knee joint during arthroscopic surgery

S. Zaffagnini, A. A. Allen, J. K. Suh, F. H. Fu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Normal joint conditions are altered during arthroscopic surgery, and these changes have uncertain ultrastructural and biomechanical effects on articular cartilage. Experimental studies have shown that temperature variations affect the biomechanical properties of articular cartilage. We documented the temperature of the knee joint in 40 patients at the beginning and end of an arthroscopic procedure (anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction or meniscectomy). The intra-articular measurements were obtained using a digital thermometer connected to a sterile stainless steel probe. Correlation coefficients and linear regression techniques were used to determine which variables are independent predictors of joint temperature at the end of surgery. The mean knee joint temperature before surgery was 35.1°±1.0°C and at the end of surgery 24.6°±1.5°C. The joint temperature at the end of surgery was significantly affected by the temperature of the saline irrigant used and the length of arthroscopic procedure. The clinical implications of our findings must be clarified in animal models.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)199-201
Number of pages3
JournalKnee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1996


  • Arthroscopy
  • Knee
  • Temperature

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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