Anterior knee pain following anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction does not increase the risk of patellofemoral osteoarthritis at 15- and 20-year follow-ups.


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Objective To prospectively evaluate the relationship between the presence or persistence of anterior knee pain (AKP) during the first 2-years following anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction (ACLR) and patellofemoral osteoarthritis (PFOA) at 15- and 20-years. Design This study was ancillary to a long-term prospective cohort study of 221 participants following bone-patellar-tendon-bone ACLR. AKP was assessed at 1- and 2-years post-ACLR using part of the Cincinnati knee score with an additional pain location question (persistence defined as presence at both follow-ups). Radiographic PFOA (definite patellofemoral osteophyte) and symptomatic PFOA (patellofemoral osteophyte, with knee pain during past 4 weeks) was assessed at 15- and 20-years follow-up. We used generalized linear models with Poisson regression to assess the relationship between AKP and PFOA. Results Of the 181 participants (82%) who were assessed at 15-years post-ACLR (age 39 ± 9 years; 42% female), 36 (24%) and 33 (22%) had AKP at 1- and 2-years, respectively, while 14 (8%) reported persistent AKP. Radiographic and symptomatic PFOA was observed at 15-years in 130 (72%) and 70 (39%) participants, respectively, and at 20-years in 115 (80%) and 60 (42%) participants, respectively. Neither the presence nor persistence of AKP at 1- and/or 2-years post-ACLR was associated with significantly higher risk of radiographic or symptomatic PFOA at 15- or 20-years (risk ratios <2.1). Conclusions Although AKP and PFOA were prevalent, AKP does not appear to be associated with long-term PFOA following ACLR.




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