Prior Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction Does Not Compromise the Functional Outcomes of Medial Unicompartmental Knee Arthroplasty Although Revision for Progressive Arthritis May Occur Earlier

J Arthroplasty. 2022 Feb;37(2):238-242. doi: 10.1016/j.arth.2021.10.008. Epub 2021 Oct 23.


Background: Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) deficiency is commonly considered a contraindication for unicompartmental knee arthroplasty (UKA). The purpose of this study is to compare the outcomes of UKA after prior ACL reconstruction (rACL cohort) to UKA with an intact native ACL (nACL cohort).

Methods: Forty-five patients from 3 institutions who underwent medial UKA after prior rACL were matched by age, gender, preoperative function scores, and body mass index to 90 patients who underwent UKA with an intact nACL. Primary outcomes were Knee Injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score for Joint Replacement, Oxford Knee Scores, Knee Society Functional Scores, and Kellgren-Lawrence scores in the unresurfaced, lateral tibiofemoral compartment. Secondary outcomes were postoperative complications and the need for revision to TKA.

Results: At a mean of 3.6 years, all PROMs improved significantly with no differences identified between groups. The incidence of revision TKA was similar between cohorts (P = 1.00); however, the mean time to revision for progressive osteoarthritis was 4.0 years in the nACL group and 2.2 years in the rACL group. Twenty percent of rACL patients had a postoperative complication compared to 8% in the nACL group. Despite presenting with a similar degree of lateral arthritis, a greater percentage of patients developed Kellgren-Lawrence scores of ≥3 in the rACL cohort (9%) than in the nACL cohort (0%).

Conclusion: A previously reconstructed ACL does not appear to compromise the short-term functional outcomes of UKA; however, there is a higher rate of minor complications and progression of lateral compartment arthritis, which should be considered with patients in the shared decision process.

Keywords: ACL reconstruction; anterior cruciate ligament; complications; outcomes; progressive osteoarthiritis; unicompartmental knee arthroplasty.

MeSH terms

  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament / surgery
  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction*
  • Arthroplasty, Replacement, Knee* / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Knee Joint / diagnostic imaging
  • Knee Joint / surgery
  • Osteoarthritis, Knee* / surgery
  • Treatment Outcome