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Quadriceps Weakness Not Linked to OA in ACL Patients

But increased age at surgery and meniscal injury are risk factors for knee osteoarthritis in ACL

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 29 (HealthDay News) -- There is no association between quadriceps muscle weakness after anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction and subsequent knee osteoarthritis (OA), according to a report published in the December issue of Arthritis Care & Research.

Britt Elin Øiestad, P.T., of the Norwegian Research Centre for Active Rehabilitation in Oslo, and colleagues followed 258 patients with ACL reconstruction for 10 to 15 years to identify risk factors for knee OA after ACL reconstruction. They looked at the Cincinnati knee score, knee joint laxity, hop performance, and isokinetic muscle strength tests at six months, one year, and two years postoperatively, and took radiographs at the 10- to 15-year follow-up that were graded using the Kellgren/Lawrence classification. Of the 258 original subjects, 212 participated at the 10- to 15-year follow-up.

The researchers found that increased age at the time of surgery and meniscal injury and/or chondral lesion were associated with a significantly greater likelihood for radiographic knee OA. Those patients who self-reported low knee function two years postoperatively and loss of quadriceps strength between the two-year and 10- to 15-year-follow-ups were significantly more likely to have symptomatic radiographic knee OA. The researchers found no association between quadriceps muscle weakness after ACL reconstruction and knee OA.

"Our hypothesis that quadriceps weakness after ACL reconstruction was a risk factor for knee OA 10 to 15 years later was not confirmed. Risk factors associated with radiographic knee OA were increased age at the time of surgery and meniscal injury and/or chondral lesion," the authors write.

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