Is osteoarthritis an inevitable consequence of anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction? A meta-analysis
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- Claes, S., Hermie, L., Verdonk, R. et al. Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc (2013) 21: 1967. doi:10.1007/s00167-012-2251-8
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Although the occurrence of early osteoarthritis (OA) is commonly associated with a history of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction, its exact prevalence in these patients remains unknown. The goal of this study was to review the current literature on long-term radiographic outcome after autologous ACL reconstruction and subsequently perform a meta-analysis to obtain evidence-based prevalences of OA at a mean of 10 years after surgery. In addition, this report aimed at identifying the relationship between meniscal status and the occurrence of radiographic OA in the ACL reconstructed knee.
A systematic review of the literature was performed in PubMed MEDLINE, EMBASE and Cochrane Library databases to identify all studies concerning radiographic outcome after autologous ACL reconstruction with a follow-up of minimum 10 years. Meta-analyses were performed to obtain the average prevalence of OA and the difference between patients with and without meniscectomy. Considered study estimates were the log-transformed odds and odds ratios, the latter expressing the effect of meniscectomy on OA.
A total of 16 studies could be included for meta-analysis, accounting for 1554 ACL reconstructions performed between 1978 and 1997. Of these knees, 453 (28 %) showed radiological signs of osteoarthritis (IKDC grade C or D). Furthermore, 50 % of the patients with meniscectomy had osteoarthritis, compared with 16 % of the patients without meniscectomy. The combined odds ratio for meniscectomy equals 3.54 (95 % CI 2.56–4.91).
The main finding of this meta-analysis is that the prevalence of radiographic knee OA after ACL reconstruction is lower than commonly perceived. However, associated meniscal resection dramatically increases the risk for developing OA.
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