Males With ACL Injury, Females Share Lateral Knee Geometry

Both have short, steeply convex tibial articular surface, increased convexity of femoral surface

THURSDAY, Feb. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Female patients with and without anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury, and male patients with ACL injury, share a common lateral tibiofemoral geometry, according to a study published in the Feb. 1 issue of The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery.

Christopher J. Wahl, M.D., of the University of Washington in Seattle, and associates used magnetic resonance imaging to measure the articular geometry in the mid-lateral sagittal plane of 112 athletes with a non-contact ACL injury and 61 activity-matched athletes without an ACL injury. They recorded the tibial plateau radius of curvature (TPr), distal femoral radius of curvature (Fr), maximal femoral anteroposterior articular length (FAP), and maximal tibial anteroposterior articular length (TPAP).

In comparison to activity-matched athletes without an ACL injury, the researchers found that the mean TPr, Fr, and TPAP values were significantly smaller in the ACL-injured group when data for men and women were combined (33.9 versus 37.5 mm; 24.3 versus 25.1 mm; and 31.5 versus 33.1 mm, respectively); the values were also significantly smaller in male patients only. The mean FAP values were not found to be significantly different for the male/female-combined group or the male-only group when compared to the activity-matched athletes; however, the differences in mean FAP:TPAP values were significant. There was no significant difference for any of the values when only females were analyzed.

"All female patients (both ACL-injured and uninjured) and ACL-injured male patients shared a common lateral knee geometry," the authors write. "Shorter, more highly convex articulating surfaces may be inherently less stable with regard to anterior tibial translation and rotation."

One or more of the authors disclosed a financial tie to an entity in the biomedical arena.

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