Research Identifies Potential Predictor of Knee Osteoarthritis After ACL Reconstruction

Osteoarthritis (OA) in the knee’s patellofemoral joint is common following anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction and may be linked to altered loading at the joint, according to a study from Australia published online ahead of print by the Journal of Orthopaedic Research.

The researchers found that young adults post‐ACL reconstruction who exhibited lower patellofemoral joint loading during hopping were more likely to have developed patellofemoral joint OA in the first year after surgery. Patellofemoral joint OA worsened between 1 and 5 post-ACL reconstruction in these patients.

In the study, data for net patellofemoral joint contact force were normalized to each participant’s body weight. For every 1 body weight decrease in the peak patellofemoral joint contact force during hopping, the proportion of people at 1 year post-ACL reconstruction with early patellofemoral joint OA increased by 37%. The risk of worsening patellofemoral joint OA between 1 and 5 years post-ACL reconstruction increased by 55%.

“Clinical interventions aimed at mitigating osteoarthritis progression may be beneficial for those with signs of lower PFJ loading post-ACLR,” the study authors said.

Read the study here.


Schache AG, Sritharan P, Culvenor AG, et al. Patellofemoral joint loading and early osteoarthritis after ACL reconstruction. J Orthop Res. 2023 Feb 8. doi: 10.1002/jor.25504. Online ahead of print.



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