Early osteoarthritis after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction: early identification and management


Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury is a well-established risk factor for the accelerated development of knee osteoarthritis (OA), irrespective of management approach – conservative exercise therapy or surgical ACL reconstruction (ACLR).


The development and progression of knee OA after ACLR is typically evaluated using radiographs over the medium to long-term (i.e., >5-10 years post-surgery). Given the need to focus on prevention strategies, the use of more sensitive imaging modalities, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), to detect degenerative changes in the earliest stages of disease, is expanding. Yet, little consideration has been given to the progression of early stages of disease, and the risk factors for these changes, which may provide new avenues to pursue strategies to reduce the risk of early-onset knee OA development and progression. Therefore, the aims of this Arthritis Australia and La Trobe University funded research project are to evaluate the rates and patterns of progression of early knee OA features 1 to 5 years after ACLR, and to identify modifiable risk factors for these early structural changes.


Staff involved: Brooke Patterson, Adam Culvenor, Kay Crossley, Joshua Stefanik, Ali Guermazi