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Adiposity and cartilage lesions following ACL reconstruction.

OBJECTIVE: To determine if global, central, or peripheral adiposity is associated with prevalent and worsening cartilage lesions following anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction (ACLR).

METHODS: In 107 individuals one-year post-ACLR, adiposity was assessed globally (body mass index, BMI), centrally (waist circumference), and peripherally (knee subcutaneous adipose tissue thickness) from magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Tibiofemoral and patellofemoral cartilage lesions were assessed from knee MRIs at 1- and 5-years post-ACLR. Poisson regression evaluated the relation of adiposity with prevalent and worsening tibiofemoral and patellofemoral cartilage lesions adjusting for age, sex, and activity level.

RESULTS: The prevalence ratios of adiposity with tibiofemoral (presence in 49%) and patellofemoral (44%) cartilage lesions ranged from 0.99 to 1.03. Adiposity was more strongly associated with longitudinal changes in tibiofemoral (worsening in 21%) and patellofemoral (44%) cartilage lesions. One-unit increase in global (kg/m2 ), central (cm), and peripheral (mm) adiposity was associated with a higher risk of worsening tibiofemoral cartilage lesions by 17% (risk ratios [95% CI]: 1.17 [1.09 to 1.23]), 5% (1.05 [1.02 to 1.08]), and 9% (1.09 [1.03 to 1.16]), and patellofemoral cartilage lesions by 5% (1.05 [1.00 to 1.12]) 2% (1.02 [1.00 to 1.04]) and 2% (1.02 [1.00 to 1.04]), respectively.

CONCLUSION: Greater adiposity was a risk factor for worsening cartilage lesions up to 5 years post-ACLR. Clinical interventions aimed at mitigating excess adiposity may be beneficial in preventive approaches for early post-traumatic OA.

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