University of Wisconsin–Madison

Dynamic Knee Imaging of ACL Injured and Reconstructed Patients

April 2013 to July 2017

Injury to the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is common among active individuals, creating an unstable knee which typically requires surgical intervention to return the patient to pre-injury activity levels. While the short-term outcome of the ACL reconstruction surgery is positive in that it creates a more stable knee, long-term outcomes are less than desirable as 70-90% of patients will develop osteoarthritis (OA) within 10 to 15 years post-reconstruction. Studies have shown that ACL reconstructions do not restore normal knee kinematics and changes in cartilage physiology can be measured within one year of surgery. This project will test the hypothesis that small changes in knee kinematics, as measured by dynamic MRI, alter cartilage contact patterns in a way that contributes to the pathogenesis of early OA in patients with ACL reconstruction. The aims of this project are (i) to use a dynamic MR imaging technique to assess how cartilage contact patterns change with time after ACL injury and reconstruction and (ii) to explore potential links between alterations in cartilage contact patterns and signs of early osteoarthritis, as measured using MR biomarkers.

This project led by: Darryl Thelen, PhD