One hundred and fourteen knees with deficiency of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) which had undergone reconstruction of the ligament using semitendinosus and gracilis were reviewed at a mean of 61 months after operation. Radiological and clinical evaluation was undertaken. A significant correlation was found between the number of meniscectomies performed in acute cases and those undertaken on the chronic knee. There was also significant correlation between meniscectomy and the Fairbank grading of degenerative changes seen on the radiographs. There was no correlation between the clinical results, residual laxity and the development of osteoarthritis. In ACL deficient knees with irreparable meniscal tears, or in which meniscectomy had been undertaken, the development of osteoarthritis seemed independent of the degree of stability, but in such knees with no meniscal tear or meniscal repair, reconstruction appeared to save the menisci and preserve the joint.