Individuals who sustain a rupture of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) are at an elevated risk for developing early onset knee osteoarthritis (OA). The mechanism behind the early onset of the disease is still unknown. Knee OA progression has been previously examined by calculating the internal knee abduction moment during gait. However, knee joint moments have not been examined in individuals following an ACL rupture as a potential mechanism for early knee OA disease progression.
Purpose: To determine if individuals who have sustained an ACL rupture and subsequent surgical repair exhibit altered gait mechanics that may be associated with knee OA progression.
Methods: Seventeen individuals, who had previously sustained an ACL rupture, volunteered to participate in the study (ACL). A matched control group was recruited for comparison (CON). All individuals in the study underwent a gait analysis at an intentional walking speed in order to examine variables previously associated with knee OA progression during gait. One way ANOVAs were performed to examine differences in gait mechanics between the ACL and CON group. All joint moments were calculated as internal moments.
Results: The peak knee abduction moment was increased by 21% in the ACL compared to the CON group (p=0.04). No other differences were observed in frontal plane knee or hip mechanics.
Conclusion: It appears that individuals who have sustained an ACL rupture and subsequent surgical repair exhibit an increased peak knee abduction moment that may establish a potential mechanism of the earlier onset of knee OA in this population.