Five-year follow-up of knee joint cartilage thickness changes after acute anterior cruciate ligament rupture.
Eckstein F, Wirth W, Lohmander LS, Hudelmaier MI, and Frobell RB. Arthritis Rheum. [Epub Ahead of Print].
Take Home Message: Following an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) rupture overall cartilage thickness in the tibiofemoral joint increased at an average of 0.4% per year. Patients under 25 years of age showed greater cartilage thickening than older patients.
In addition to immediate physical limitations, a patient who experiences an ACL rupture also has an increased risk of long-term disability due to structural adaptations within the joint. If clinicians could identify early changes in the joint then clinicians may eventually be able to implement pharmacological and rehabilitation protocols to limit joint cartilage changes and other structural changes that may lead to osteoarthritis. Therefore, Eckstein and college completed a prospective study to quantify tibiofemoral cartilage thickness changes in patients with an ACL rupture.