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Open Orthop J. 2012;6:295-300. doi: 10.2174/1874325001206010295. Epub 2012 Jul 27.

Anterior cruciate ligament rupture and osteoarthritis progression.

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  • 1Chase Farm Hospital, The Ridgeway, Enfield, Middlesex, EN2 8JL, UK.


Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) rupture is a common sporting injury that frequently affects young, athletic patients. Apart from the functional problems of instability, patients with ACL deficient knees also develop osteoarthritis. Although this is frequently cited as an indication for ACL reconstruction, the relationship between ACL rupture, reconstruction and the instigation and progression of articular cartilage degenerative change is controversial.The purpose of this paper is to review the published literature with regards ACL rupture and the multifactorial causes for osteoarthritis progression, and whether or not this is slowed or stopped by ACL reconstruction.There is no evidence in the published literature to support the view that ACL reconstruction prevents osteoarthritis, although it may prevent further meniscal damage. It must be recognised that this conclusion is based on the current literature which has substantial methodological limitations.


Anterior cruciate ligament; anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction; cartilage damage; knee surgery; meniscus; osteoarthritis.

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