Hip joint biomechanics in those with and without post-traumatic knee osteoarthritis after anterior cruciate ligament injury

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Abstract

Background:

Anterior cruciate ligament injury results in altered kinematics and kinetics in the knee and hip joints that persist despite surgical reconstruction and rehabilitation. Abnormal movement patterns and a history of osteoarthritis are risk factors for articular cartilage degeneration in additional joints. The purpose of this study was to determine if hip joint biomechanics early after anterior cruciate ligament injury and reconstruction differ between patients with and without post-traumatic knee osteoarthritis 5 years after reconstruction. The study's rationale was that individuals who develop knee osteoarthritis after anterior cruciate ligament injury may also demonstrate large alterations in hip joint biomechanics.

Methods:

Nineteen athletes with anterior cruciate ligament injury completed standard gait analysis before (baseline) and after (post-training) extended pre-operative rehabilitation and at 6 months, 1 year, and 2 years after reconstruction. Weightbearing knee radiographs were completed 5 years after reconstruction to identify medial compartment osteoarthritis.

Findings:

Five of 19 patients had knee osteoarthritis at 5 years after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction. Patients with knee osteoarthritis at 5 years walked with smaller sagittal plane hip angles (P: 0.043) and lower sagittal (P: 0.021) and frontal plane (P: 0.042) external hip moments in the injured limb before and after reconstruction compared to those without knee osteoarthritis.

Interpretation:

The current findings suggest hip joint biomechanics may be altered in patients who develop post-traumatic knee osteoarthritis. Further study is needed to confirm whether the risk of non-traumatic hip pathology is increased after anterior cruciate ligament injury and if hip joint biomechanics influence its development.

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