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Clin Sports Med. 2013 Jan;32(1):1-12. doi: 10.1016/j.csm.2012.08.017.

The role of ACL injury in the development of posttraumatic knee osteoarthritis.

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Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, University of Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA.


Acute anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears are most frequently sustained by young, physically active individuals. ACL injuries are seen at high incidence in adolescents and young adults performing sports and occupational activities that involve pivoting. Young women participating in pivoting sports have a 3 to 5 times higher risk of ACL injury than men. Studies show that ACL injury increases osteoarthritis (OA) risk with symptomatic OA appearing in roughly half of individuals 10-15 years later. Because the majority of patients sustaining acute ACL tears are younger than 30, this leads to early onset OA with associated pain and disability during premium work and life growth years between ages 30 and 50. Effective strategies to prevent ACL injury and to reduce subsequent OA risk in those sustaining acute ACL tears are needed.

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