Sustaining an ACL injury in early adulthood significantly increases the risk of joint replacement later in life, a simulation model shows.
The research team from the US and Australia found the risk of a knee replacement was 22% in people with an ACL injury and a meniscal tear – a figure nearly four times greater than those without an injury.
The authors estimated that reducing half of these injuries would lead to 8 percent fewer knee replacement surgeries.
“Our findings suggest that early traumatic ACL injuries may have dramatic effects on cumulative lifetime incidence of knee OA and the need for TKR,” the authors reported in Arthritis Care & Research.
“Since knee injuries have been shown to be preventable through the use of targeted training programs, our findings provide important information for policy makers and stakeholders to prioritize programs for injury prevention among young adults at risk of knee injury,” they concluded.
The researchers used the osteoarthritis policy model to project the cumulative incidence of symptomatic knee OA requiring a knee replacement in people with no injury, isolated ACL tear surgically treated; isolated ACL tear not treated operatively; prevalent history or surgically treated ACL and meniscal tear.