With the demands of insurance companies and the need for cost containment, more and more surgeons are performing the anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction (ACL) procedure on an outpatient basis. The shorter hospital stay has increased the demands of nurses to provide appropriate nursing care, while also meeting the educational needs of patients receiving an ACL reconstruction as an outpatient. This article reviews the preoperative, intraoperative, and the postoperative phases of the care for patients undergoing anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction on an outpatient basis. It also emphasizes the role of the nurse in assessing, implementing, and coordinating care for patients having an ACL reconstruction.
© 1996 National Association of Orthopaedic Nurses