Background: Meniscal and chondral lesions are commonly associated with anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears, and these lesions may play a role in patient outcomes after ACL reconstruction.
Purpose: To determine the effects of the presence and location of meniscal and chondral lesions at the time of ACL reconstruction on patient-reported outcomes at a minimum 2-year follow-up.
Study Design: Cohort study; Level of evidence, 3.
Methods: Patients with no prior knee surgery who underwent primary ACL reconstruction by a single surgeon between 2010 and 2014 were included in this study. Those meeting inclusion criteria were divided into the following groups based on the arthroscopic diagnosis: patients without concomitant meniscal or chondral lesions, patients with isolated meniscal lesions, patients with iso- lated chondral lesions, and patients with both chondral and meniscal lesions. Patient-reported outcomes (Short Form–12 [SF-12] physical component summary [PCS] and mental component summary [MCS], Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index [WOMAC], and Lysholm scale) were assessed at a minimum of 2 years from the index surgery.
Results: A total of 151 patients met the inclusion criteria and were included in the study. The mean age at the time of surgery was 36.2 years (range, 14-73 years), and the mean follow-up was 3.2 years (range, 2.0-5.6 years). At the time of surgery, 33 (22%) patients had no concomitant lesions and served as the control group, 63 (42%) patients had isolated meniscal lesions, 21 (14%) patients had isolated chondral lesions, and 34 (22%) patients had both chondral and meniscal lesions. There was significant improvement in all outcome scores postoperatively for the 3 groups (P < .05 for all outcome scores). The presence of a meniscal tear and laterality of the meniscal lesion did not have a negative effect on any postoperative outcome scores. Patients with isolated chondral lesions had significantly lower postoperative WOMAC scores compared with patients without chondral lesions (P < .05). No significant differences were found for all other scores. Patients with patellofemoral chondral lesions had significantly lower postoperative SF-12 PCS and Lysholm scores than patients with tibiofemoral chondral lesions (P < .05).
Conclusion: Patients with ACL tears achieved improved functional scores at a mean 3.2 years after ACL reconstruction. While meniscal lesions did not affect postoperative outcomes in the short term, chondral lesions were identified as a predictor for worse outcomes.