Knee function and prevalence of osteoarthritis after isolated anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction using bone-patellar tendon-bone graft: long-term follow-up

Int Orthop. 2012 Jan;36(1):171-7. doi: 10.1007/s00264-011-1345-0. Epub 2011 Sep 7.


Purpose: The aim of this investigation was to study patient-reported long-term clinical outcome, instrumental stablitity and prevalence of radiological osteoarthritis (OA) a minimum of ten years after isolated anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction.

Methods: An average of 13.5 years after ACL reconstruction with bone-patellar tendon-bone (BTB) autograft, 73 patients were evaluated. Inclusion criteria consisted of an isolated ACL rupture and reconstruction with BPTB graft with no associated intra-articular lesions, in particular, cartilage alterations or meniscal lesions. Clinical assessment was performed using the International Knee Documentation Committee (IKDC) and Tegner and Lysholm scores. Instrumental anterior laxity testing was carried out with the KT-1000™ arthrometer. Degree of degenerative changes and prevalence of OA were determined using the Kellgren- Lawrence scale.

Results: Mean follow-up was 13.5 years. Mean age was 43.8 years. About 75% of patients were graded A or B according to the IKDC score. The Lysholm score was 90.2 ± 4.8. Radiological assessment reported degenerative changes of grade II OA in 54.2% of patients. Prevalence of grades III or IV OA was found in 20%. The incidence of OA was significantly correlated with stability and function at long-term follow-up.

Conclusion: Arthroscopic ACL reconstruction using BPTB autograft resulted in a high degree of patient satisfaction and good clinical results on long-term follow-up. A higher degree of OA developed in 20% of patients and was significantly correlated with increased anterior laxity at long-term follow-up.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injuries
  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction / adverse effects*
  • Bone-Patellar Tendon-Bone Grafting / adverse effects*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Joint Instability / complications*
  • Joint Instability / physiopathology
  • Knee Joint / physiopathology
  • Knee Joint / surgery*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Osteoarthritis, Knee / etiology*
  • Osteoarthritis, Knee / physiopathology
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Postoperative Complications
  • Range of Motion, Articular
  • Recovery of Function
  • Rupture
  • Young Adult