A retrospective review of 373 patients who had undergone anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction utilizing the central third of the patellar tendon was undertaken to identify those factors that placed a patient at risk for restricted postoperative motion (flexion < or = 125 degrees or flexion contracture > or = 10 degrees). Stepwise logistic regression analysis determined that the variables most strongly correlated with restricted final range of motion (ROM) were open surgery (P = .0008) and reconstruction performed < or = 7 days after the initial injury (P = .004). Age, associated meniscal repair, or associated collateral ligament injuries did not significantly affect the ROM. A subgroup of 204 patients arthroscopically reconstructed more than 7 days post-injury were significantly less likely to have limited motion when ROM exercises were begun within 2 days of surgery (P = .008). These data support delayed, arthroscopic ACL reconstruction followed by early ROM exercises as useful techniques for avoiding postoperative motion problems.