We analyze the quality of life, functional results and prevalence of osteoarthritis in 72 patients with ACL reconstruction using BPTB autograft with a median follow up of 22 years. We concluded that patellar tendon ACL reconstruction showed encouraging clinical results and degenerative osteoarthritis had developed in 28% of patients treated.
Few studies in the literature show results with more than 20 years follow-up after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction (ACLR). The main purpose of this retrospective study was to describe knee-specific quality of life, functional results and prevalence of osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee in patients with ACLR using bone–patellar tendon–bone (BPTB) autograft with ultra-long-term follow up.
Prospective analyzed data included demographics, meniscus status, radiographic OA, KT-1000 arthrometer measurements and physical examinations. KOOS, Lysholm and IKDC subjective surveys were conducted. Multivariate and univariate logistic models were used to determine the effect of potential predictors of OA and symptomatic knees.
72 knees were included at a median follow-up of 22 (IQR 21-25) years postoperatively. Radiographic scores were normal in 15%, nearly normal in 57%, abnormal in 18% and severely abnormal in 10%. Multivariate analysis showed that the predictive factor for the presence of OA in the long-term was an associated meniscal lesion; patients with meniscal lesions were 3.9 times as likely to develop OA in comparison with those without meniscal injury. The subjective scores were progressively and significantly lower as the level of OA was greater.
At a median of 22 years follow-up, this study shows that patellar tendon autograft ACL reconstruction provides good clinical outcomes, with clinically objective knee stability and a 28% prevalence of OA. Additionally, we identified that meniscal injury at time of surgery was an independent predictor of OA.
Keywords: ACL Reconstruction – Knee function – long-term outcome – osteoarthritis
Level of Evidence: Level IV, Case series.