July 12, 2011

Knee Motion Post-Surgery Affects Arthritis Risk

(Ivanhoe Newswire) -- The loss of knee motion after reconstructive ACL surgery may contribute to the onset of osteoarthritis, according to new research.

Investigators examined data from 780 patients who had ACL reconstruction with a patellar tendon graft at least five years earlier. Participants were evaluated with knee range of motion tests and radiographs.

Results showed 71 percent of patients with normal range of motion had no arthritic changes in the knee compared to 55 percent of patients who showed deficits in motion.

"Our research shows that patients given rehabilitation that emphasizes full motion be obtained and maintained throughout time after surgery have more favorable results on X-rays than patients who lose motion," lead researcher K. Donald Shelbourne, M.D., Founder, Shelbourne Knee Center, was quoted as saying.

The new study adds to other research that has shown major risk factors for the development of osteoarthritis after ACL reconstruction, including meniscus removal and articular cartilage damage.

"Something like osteoarthritis can be debilitating, and our goal is to continually find new ways to help patients avoid such a problem," Shelbourne said.

SOURCE: American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine's Annual Meeting in San Diego