ACL injury is a catastrophic injury for any athlete, but the long term complications are especially worrisome. I see many athletes 5-10 years after ACL surgery who now present with early arthritis.
Research assessing which patients are at higher risk for arthritis can potentially help develop protocols to decrease the risk of arthritis. This study shows that patients who have lower loads across the knee joint are at higher risk of patellofemoral or anterior knee arthritis.
In this study, they found “altered PFJ loading during a standardized forward hopping task” in some ACL patients. Furthermore, according to this study: “Monitoring indices of PFJ loading during relevant functional tasks as early as possible after ACLR might represent an opportunity to identify those at greatest risk of developing end-stage PFJOA.”
Read the article in Physician’s Weekly.
Image source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Osteoarthritis_left_knee.jpg