Introduction: Many studies have been done indicating patients more likely to develop osteoarthritis (OA) post anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury in spite of having an anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction (ACLR) done. In this study, we aimed at identifying factors causing early post traumatic arthritis (PTOA) among patients who’ve underwent ACLR. The hypothesis used here was that cartilage defects and meniscus injuries would also contribute to worse PTOA based on the Osteoarthritis Research Society International (OARSI) atlas criteria.
Methods: A total of 30 patients who agreed for ACLR returned for follow-up took semiflexed knee radiography at least 12 months post ACLR. Baseline data of demographics, meniscal status/treatment, graft used, and status of the cartilage were collected. All knee radiographs were graded based on the OARSI criteria.
Results: Higher OARSI grades were noted among the patients, with meniscal repair/meniscectomy, with a mean of 5.14 involving both the compartments on the medial and lateral sides. The overall OARSI grading difference between both knees for the patients after ACL reconstruction showed more osteoarthritic changes in the affected knee with a mean score difference of +2.43. Gender, graft type, cartilaginous defects was not significantly associated with higher OARSI grade.
Conclusion: Analysis of the 40 patients in our study showed that after a follow-up period of 12 months, shows that post ACLR patients are likely to develop OA changes at an early time point of 12 to 18 months. These results will be useful in counselling patients regarding the explanation of the risks. ACL tear patients who are not in need of meniscal repair post meniscus damage with cartilage defects can be reassured of the less chances of developing early OA changes within 12 to 18 months of ACLR.