SKELETAL RADIOLOGY, vol.50, no.1, pp.137-148, 2021 (SCI-Expanded)
Aim To evaluate whether patients with anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) graft tear who do not undergo revision reconstruction surgery are more likely to exhibit osteoarthritic features than patients with intact ACL graft using MRI. Materials and methods We retrospectively evaluated our hospital medical archive for identifying all consecutive patients with ACL graft failure who underwent MRI between January 2015 and January 2019. An equal number of patients with intact ACL graft was selected for the control group. An observer with 6 years of musculoskeletal radiology experience evaluated the baseline and last available follow-up MRIs of the patients for bone marrow lesions (BMLs), cartilage defects, osteophytes, anterior tibial translation, and effusion-synovitis. Results A total of 130 patients, 118 males (90.8%), and 12 females (9.2%), with the mean age of 29.22 +/- 9.3 years, were enrolled in the study. Of 130 patients, 65 had a deficient ACL graft, and 65 had an intact ACL graft. The time from the index injury to the last follow-up MRI was 45 months (IQR, 19) for the study cohort. On the follow-up MRIs, patients with ACL graft deficiency showed more prominent degenerative features compared with the patients with intact ACL graft characterized as follows: higher grades of medial meniscal tears (P = 0.06); higher grades of BMLs in the anteromedial (P = 0.014) and posteromedial (P = 0.006) femur, higher grades of cartilage defects in the medial patella (p = 0.0P); higher grades of osteophytes in the anteromedial (P = 0.018) and central medial femur (p = 0.048), central medial tibia (P = 0.048), and medial patella (P = 0.07); and more frequent anterior tibial translation (P = 0.022). Conclusion Patients with ACL graft deficiency present with more prominent degenerative features, particularly on the medial side, suggestive of osteoarthritis compared with patients with intact ACL grafts in the medium-term follow-up.