JOURNAL ARTICLE

Articular cartilage injury of the posterior lateral tibial plateau associated with acute anterior cruciate ligament injury

Makoto Nishimori, Masataka Deie, Nobuo Adachi, Atsushi Kanaya, Atsuo Nakamae, Mitsuru Motoyama, Mitsuo Ochi
Knee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy 2008, 16 (3): 270-4
18074118
Thirty-nine knees in 39 patients with recent anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) rupture (age 14-55 years; with a mean age of 22.8 years) were selected from our cases of ACL reconstruction from July 2005 to June 2006, to take part in a study on articular cartilage injury of the posterior lateral tibial plateau associated with acute ACL injury and on the correlation between bone bruises depicted on MRI and cartilage injury of the posterior lateral tibial plateau detected at arthroscopic ACL reconstruction. Using preoperative MRI, we evaluated whether there were bone bruises or not in the lateral compartment of the knee and divided them accordingly into two groups: the bone bruise positive group and the negative group. The differences in the proportions of the lateral meniscus (LM) tears and the cartilage injuries in the two groups were evaluated using Fisher's exact probability test. Thirty-five cases out of 39 arthroscopic ACL reconstructions (89.7%) were regarded as bone bruise positive in the lateral compartment and four cases (10.3%) were regarded as negative. At arthroscopic ACL reconstruction, 33 cases (84.6%) had tears in the LM posterior horn, 34 cases (87.2%) had articular cartilage injuries in the lateral femoral condyle and 29 cases (74.3%) had articular cartilage injuries in the posterior lateral tibial plateau. From 35 bone bruise positive cases, 32 cases (91.4%) had tears in the LM posterior horn, 33 cases (94.3%) had articular cartilage injuries in the lateral femoral condyle and 28 cases (80%) had articular cartilage injuries in the posterior lateral tibial plateau. Of four bone bruise negative cases, one case (25%) had a tear in the LM posterior horn, articular cartilage injury of the lateral femoral condyle and of the posterior lateral tibial plateau. There was a statistically significant correlation between the proportion of bone bruise and cartilage injury of the lateral femoral condyle (P = 0.004), that of the posterior lateral tibial plateau (P = 0.04) and that of tears in the LM posterior horn (P = 0.008). This current study has demonstrated that we need to pay attention to cartilage damage of the posterior lateral tibial plateau as well as to posterior horn tears in LM, when acute ACL injury is shown. We also have to ensure that we follow the long-term progress of cartilage injuries, with the aim of preventing these injuries becoming osteoarthritis after ACL reconstruction.

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