The role of acetic acid in orthopaedic surgery.
Acetic acid has become more commonly used in orthopaedic surgery. The purposed roles include biofilm eradication and surgical debridement, postoperative scar reduction and managing soft tissue injuries. Current research is scarce and does not provide conclusive evidence behind acetic acid's efficacy in orthopaedic procedures such as biofilm eradication or acetic acid iontophoresis in soft tissue injuries. Current literature on acetic acid's effects on biofilm eradication is composed of in-vitro studies, which do not demonstrate the potential clinical efficacy of acetic acid. Acetic acid iontophoresis is a novel technique which is now more commonly accepted for soft tissues injuries. Our literature search identified calcifying tendonitis of the shoulder, rotator cuff tendinopathy, heel pain syndrome, plantar fasciitis, achilles tendonitis, calcifying tendonitis of the ankle, myositis ossificans and cervical spondylosis as documented clinical uses. In this narrative review, we present the current uses of acetic acid and acetic acid iontophoresis, while evaluating the evidence revolving around its efficacy, benefits and risks.
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