Knee morphology and risk factors for developing an anterior cruciate ligament rupture: an MRI comparison between ACL-ruptured and non-injured knees

Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc. 2014 May;22(5):987-94. doi: 10.1007/s00167-013-2588-7. Epub 2013 Jul 6.


Purpose: The objective of this study was to evaluate multiple morphological features on MR images in patients with and without ACL rupture to evaluate whether there are certain variables that confer a higher risk for an ACL rupture.

Methods: MRI measurements were taken from 45 subjects with ACL injury and 43 subjects without ACL injury, by two independent observers. The morphometrics were compared between ACL-injured and non-injured subjects, between men and women and for male and female subjects separately. A factor analysis was performed to determine whether any variables were related in the injured, non-injured, male or female groups.

Results: There were no significant differences in the overall population between the ACL-injured and non-injured group. Significant differences were found in bicondylar (P ≤ 0.001), medial condyle (P ≤ 0.001) and lateral condyle widths (P = 0.001) between men and women. In the male group, there were no significant differences between ACL-injured and non-injured subjects. In the female group, there was a significant difference in bicondylar (P = 0.002) and lateral condyle width (P = 0.002) between ACL-injured and non-injured subjects.

Conclusions: There were gender-related differences in bony morphology between ACL-injured and non-injured subjects. The morphological features that were different between ACL-injured and non-injured subjects varied between male and female subjects.

Level of evidence: Case-Control study, Level III.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injuries*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Knee / anatomy & histology*
  • Knee / pathology*
  • Knee Injuries / diagnosis*
  • Knee Joint / anatomy & histology*
  • Knee Joint / pathology
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Risk Factors
  • Rupture