Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Articular Cartilage Injury after ACL Rupture is more Common in Men than Women

While ACL rupture is itself a significant and common athletic injury in women, it can be compounded by injury to the articular cartilage which has been shown to increase the risk of subsequent arthritis.

In a recent study published in the American Journal of Sports Medicine a group of researchers from the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at Akershus University Hospital in Norway used a remarkable registry containing details of 15783 primary unilateral anterior cruciate ligament reconstructions (42% on women) performed in Sweden and Norway between 2005-2008.  This represents 97% and 90% of all primary ACL reconstructions performed in Norway and Sweden respectively.

The results showed that men were about 20% more likely to experience injury to articular cartilage than women.  In addition, increased time from injury to surgery and a history of prior knee surgery were also risk factors.

So this is one relatively bright spot is the otherwise high burden of knee injury that women athletes experience.

Read the abstract of the study here.