Full-thickness cartilage lesion do not affect knee function in patients with ACL injury

  • Vegar Hjermundrud
  • Tonje Kvist Bjune
  • May Arna Risberg
  • Lars Engebretsen
  • Asbjørn ÅrøenEmail author


There is debate in the literature regarding the impact of full-thickness cartilage lesion on knee function in patients with ACL injury. The hypothesis of the current study is that a full-thickness cartilage lesion at the time of ACL reconstruction does not influence knee function as measured by the Knee injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score (KOOS) in patients with ACL injury. Of the 4,849 primary ACL surgery cases in the Norwegian National Knee Ligament Registry as of 12 December 2007, 30 patients met the following inclusion criteria: a full-thickness cartilage lesion (International Cartilage Repair Society [ICRS] grades 3 and 4), age less than 40 years, no associated pathology or meniscus injury, and less than 1 year between knee injury and ACL reconstruction. Each of the 30 patients in this study group was matched with two control participants without cartilage lesions. Preoperatively, the patients completed the KOOS, and the surgeon recorded the location and size of the cartilage lesion and graded the cartilage injury according to ICRS standards. There were no significant differences between the case and control groups for any of the five subscales of the KOOS. A cartilage lesion was located in the medial compartment in 67% of the cases, in the lateral compartment in 20% of the cases, and in the patellofemoral joint in 13% of the cases. In conclusion, the combination of a full-thickness cartilage lesion and an ACL rupture did not result in inferior knee function at the time of the ACL reconstruction as measured by the KOOS.


ACL Cartilage injuries Knee function Cross-sectional study 



We would like to thank the National Knee Ligament Registry in Norway, especially Kjersti Steindal, for providing the data for the current study. We also thank the Oslo Sports Trauma Research Center and Eckboe’s grant for support while conducting the study.

Conflict of interest statement



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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vegar Hjermundrud
    • 1
  • Tonje Kvist Bjune
    • 2
  • May Arna Risberg
    • 3
  • Lars Engebretsen
    • 4
    • 5
  • Asbjørn Årøen
    • 4
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of PhysiotherapyAkershus University HospitalLørenskogNorway
  2. 2.University of OsloOsloNorway
  3. 3.Norwegian Centre for Active Rehabilitation (NAR)OsloNorway
  4. 4.Orthopaedic CentreUllevaal University HospitalOsloNorway
  5. 5.Faculty of MedicineUniversity of OsloOsloNorway

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