The function of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee remains to be elucidated. The purpose of this study is to evaluate histological changes of the ACL in end-stage knee OA and to clarify the relationship between histological changes in the ACL and knee function.
The hypothesis in this study was that ACL degeneration in knee OA is associated with decreased knee function.
Patients and methods
Eighty-two ACL specimens from 65 patients who underwent primary total knee arthroplasty (TKA) were investigated. The correlation between histological changes of the ACL (myxoid changes, chondroid metaplasia, total collagen degeneration, microcyst formation, vascular proliferation, and inflammatory cell infiltration) and knee function (range of motion, anterior tibial translation test, knee extension muscle strength, one-leg standing time, and functional reach test) were investigated. Age, body mass index, joint space narrowing, osteophyte formation, lower extremity alignment, and knee medial/lateral instability were also evaluated.
Myxoid change in the ACLs was significantly negatively correlated with one-leg standing time. Chondroid metaplasia was not correlated with knee function. Collagen degeneration in the ACL was significantly negatively correlated with knee flexion angle and one-leg standing time. In addition, a negative correlation between microcyst formation and knee flexion angle was noted. Osteophyte formation, particularly lateral femoral intercondylar osteophytes, was correlated with myxoid changes. The other parameters did not correlate with ACL histological changes.
Myxoid changes in the ACL were shown to correlate with knee function. The osteophyte score, particularly as related to lateral femoral intercondylar osteophytes, correlated with the severity of myxoid changes in the ACL in knee OA. Precise ACL evaluation should be included in the indications for ACL-retaining surgeries because ACL degeneration may be related to decreased knee function after surgery.
Level of evidence
IV, Diagnostic case series.Le texte complet de cet article est disponible en PDF.
Keywords : Osteoarthritis, Anterior cruciate ligament, Histology, Osteophyte
Abbreviations : ACL, UKA, BCR-TKA, MRI, OA, BMI, FTA, K–L grade, HKAA, MOAKS system, ROM, ATT, FRT, JLCA