July 2012

Bone bruises associated with ligament injuries may predict chondral damage

In the moment: Knee OA

By Jordana Bieze Foster

The distribution of bone bruises associated with acute knee ligament injury is consistent with long-term patterns of chondral damage, according to research from the University of Kentucky in Lexington presented in June at the annual meeting of the National Athletic Trainers Association.

On 28 magnetic resonance imaging scans of acute ligament injuries, 60 bone bruises were primarily distributed laterally; 37% on the lateral tibial plateau (LTP) and 33% on the lateral femoral condyle (LFC). In particular, all of the most severe (grade 3) lesions were located on the LTP (67%) or LFC (33%).

A February study from the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City confirmed that seven to 11 years after isolated ACL injury, risk of cartilage loss in the LFC was 50 times the risk at baseline. Although initial bone bruises tended to be located laterally, long-term risk of medial and patellar cartilage damage was also significantly elevated.

Hoch JM, Montgomery J, Johnson DL, et al. A descriptive analysis of bone bruise presence and severity based on location for patients with acute knee injury. Presented at the 63rd annual meeting of the National Athletic Trainers Association, St. Louis, MO, June 2012.

Potter HG, Jain SK, Ma Y, et al. Cartilage injury after acute, isolated anterior cruciate ligament tear: immediate and longitudinal effect with clinical/MRI follow-up. Am J Sports Med 2012; 40(2):276-285.

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