Article Text

Which determinants predict tibiofemoral and patellofemoral osteoarthritis after anterior cruciate ligament injury? A systematic review
  1. Belle L van Meer1,
  2. Duncan E Meuffels1,
  3. Wilbert A van Eijsden1,
  4. Jan A N Verhaar1,
  5. Sita M A Bierma-Zeinstra1,2,
  6. Max Reijman1
  1. 1Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Erasmus MC, University Medical Centre Rotterdam, The Netherlands
  2. 2Department of General Practice, Erasmus MC, University Medical Centre Rotterdam, The Netherlands
  1. Correspondence to Belle L van Meer, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Erasmus MC, University Medical Centre Rotterdam, PO Box 2040, 3000 CA Rotterdam, The Netherlands; b.vanmeer{at}


Background Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury is an important risk factor for development of knee osteoarthritis (OA). To identify those ACL injured patients at increased risk for knee OA, it is necessary to understand risk factors for OA.

Aim To summarise the evidence for determinants of (1) tibiofemoral OA and (2) patellofemoral OA in ACL injured patients.

Methods MEDLINE, EMBASE, Web of Science and CINAHL databases were searched up to 20 December 2013. Additionally, reference lists of eligible studies were manually and independently screened by two reviewers. 2348 studies were assessed for the following main inclusion criteria: ≥20 patients; ACL injured patients treated operatively or non-operatively; reporting OA as outcome; description of relationship between OA outcome and determinants; and a follow-up period ≥2 years. Two reviewers extracted the data, assessed the risk of bias and performed a best-evidence synthesis.

Results Sixty-four publications were included and assessed for quality. Two studies were classified as low risk of bias. Medial meniscal injury/meniscectomy showed moderate evidence for influencing OA development (tibiofemoral OA and compartment unspecified). Lateral meniscal injury/meniscectomy showed moderate evidence for no relationship (compartment unspecified), as did time between injury and reconstruction (tibiofemoral and patellofemoral OA).

Conclusions Medial meniscal injury/meniscectomy after ACL rupture increased the risk of OA development. In contrast, it seems that lateral meniscal injury/meniscectomy has no relationship with OA development. Our results suggest that time between injury and reconstruction does not influence patellofemoral and tibiofemoral OA development. Many determinants showed conflicting and limited evidence and no determinant showed strong evidence.

  • ACL
  • Osteoarthritis

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