Anterior Cruciate Ligament Tears: The Impact of Increased Time From Injury to Surgery on Intra-articular Lesions

Audrie Chavez, Andrew E. Jimenez, Dietrich Riepen, Benjamin Schell, Michael Khazzam, Katherine J. Coyner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Previous research has shown that meniscal and articular cartilage lesions increase with time in the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL)–deficient knee. Purpose: To analyze the association between increased time from ACL injury to reconstruction and the presence of intra-articular lesions. Design: Cross-sectional study; Level of evidence, 3. Methods: A retrospective chart review was performed for patients who sustained an ACL injury and underwent reconstruction from January 1, 2009, to May 14, 2015. Factors analyzed included age, sex, and body mass index, as well as time from injury to surgery, the presence of meniscal tears, and the presence of cartilage lesions. The data were evaluated to quantify the association between time from ACL injury to reconstruction and presence of intra-articular lesions. Results: Overall, 405 patients were included in this study. Regarding time from injury, 27.3% patients were treated at <3 months, 23.6% at 3 to <6 months, 18% at 6 to <12 months, 13.6% at 12 to <24 months, 10.6% at 24 to <60 months, and 6.9% at ≥60 months. When compared with the group treated <3 months from injury, a significant increase in the rate of medial meniscal tears was seen in the groups treated at 6 to <12 months (odds ratio [OR], 2.2), 12 to <24 months (OR, 3.5), 24 to <60 months (OR, 7.0), and ≥60 months (OR, 6.3). A similar trend was seen with medial femoral condyle lesions in the groups treated at 6 to <12 months (OR, 2.5), 12 to <24 months (OR, 2.6), 24 to <60 months (OR, 2.6), and ≥60 months (OR, 6.9). The prevalence of lateral tibial plateau and lateral femoral condyle lesions also significantly increased with increased time between ACL injury and reconstruction, but this association was not seen until 24 to <60 months (ORs, 5.1 and 11.5, respectively). Conclusion: For patients undergoing ACL reconstruction, an interval >6 months between injury and surgery was associated with an increased prevalence of medial meniscal tears and medial compartment chondral lesions at the time of surgery. An interval >24 months between injury and surgery was associated with an increased prevalence of lateral compartment chondral lesions at the time of surgery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalOrthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine
Volume8
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - 2020

Keywords

  • ACL
  • arthroscopy
  • cartilage
  • knee
  • meniscus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

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