- This systematic review of studies published after 2008 finds insufficient data on the rate of knee osteoarthritis (KOA) 10 years after tear of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL).
- This is the same conclusion reached by the same authors in an earlier review published in 2009.
- Meniscectomy (needed for meniscus injury, which occurs in 21%-48% with ACL injury) is the only consistent risk factor for KOA.
Why this matters
- Results are frustrating for a common injury whose annual incidence in the general population is 68.6 per 100,000 person-years.
- Systematic review of 41 new studies (n=4919) from 5 databases: PubMed, EMBASE, AMED, CINAHL, and SPORTDiscus.
- Funding: None.
- Age of patients at inclusion ranged from 23 to 38 years; follow-up from 31 to 51 years.
- 96% of patients had surgery.
- Few studies differentiated between radiographic vs symptomatic KOA.
- Radiographic KOA:
- Prevalence ranges between 0% and 100% more than 10 years after injury, irrespective of follow-up time of the study.
- Symptomatic KOA:
- 1 study reported a rate of 35% in the tibiofemoral joint.
- 1 study reported a rate of 15% in the patellofemoral joint.
- Meniscectomy represented the only consistent risk factor predicting KOA.
- Low methodological quality in more than half of 41 studies.