Lower Loading on Patellofemoral Joint Associated With Worse Outcomes After ACL Reconstruction

Lower peak patellofemoral joint contact force linked to prevalent early PFJ osteoarthritis at 1 year after ACL reconstruction.

HealthDay News For young adults, lower patellofemoral joint (PFJ) loading during hopping is associated with an increased likelihood of early PFJ osteoarthritis at one year and with PFJ osteoarthritis worsening between one and five years after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction (ACLR), according to a study published online Feb. 8 in the Journal of Orthopaedic Research.

Anthony G. Schache, P.T., Ph.D., from La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia, and colleagues examined whether altered PFJ loading is associated with prevalent and worsening early PFJ osteoarthritis post-ACLR among 46 participants who underwent magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and biomechanical assessment of their reconstructed knee about one year post-ACLR. The PFJ contact force was calculated during the landing phase of a standardized forward hop. At five years post-ACLR, follow-up MRI was completed on 32 participants.

The researchers observed associations for lower peak PFJ contact force with prevalent early PFJ osteoarthritis at one year (prevalence ratio, 1.37) and with an increased risk for worsening PFJ osteoarthritis between one and five years post-ACLR (risk ratio, 1.55).

“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 PFJ osteoarthritis,” the authors write. “Future studies involving a larger cohort and examining changes in structural degradation over a longer period are needed to substantiate our findings.”

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical and medical device industries.

Abstract/Full Text