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The effect of anterior cruciate ligament surgery on bone mineral in the calcaneus: a prospective study with a 2-year follow-up evaluation

Journal article
Authors L. Ejerhed
Jüri Kartus
R. Nilsen
U. Nilsson
R. Kullenberg
Jón Karlsson
Published in Arthroscopy
Volume 20
Issue 4
Pages 352-9
ISSN 1526-3231 (Electronic)
Publication year 2004
Published at Institute of Surgical Sciences, Department of Orthopaedics
Pages 352-9
Language en
Keywords Absorptiometry, Photon, Adolescent, Adult, Anterior Cruciate Ligament/injuries/*surgery, Arthroscopy/*statistics & numerical data, Calcaneus/*chemistry, Cohort Studies, Female, Follow-Up Studies, Humans, Immobilization/adverse effects, Knee Injuries/complications/rehabilitation, Male, Middle Aged, Minerals/*analysis, Osteoporosis/etiology/prevention & control, Prospective Studies, Reconstructive Surgical Procedures/*statistics & numerical data, Rupture/surgery, Tendons/transplantation, Transplantation, Autologous, Treatment Outcome
Subject categories Orthopaedics


PURPOSE: The goal of this study was to evaluate the effect of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction on the bone mineral area mass (BMA) in the calcaneus on the injured and noninjured sides. TYPE OF STUDY: A prospective cohort study with sequential assessments of bone mineral in the calcaneus before and after ACL reconstruction. METHODS: Thirty-four consecutive patients with a unilateral ACL rupture underwent arthroscopic reconstruction using patellar tendon autografts. The BMA was assessed bilaterally in the calcaneus using a gamma camera according to the dual-energy photon absorptiometry technique, before surgery and after 6 and 26 months. RESULTS: Thirty-one of 34 patients (20 men and 11 women) underwent all BMA measurements. The median age at index surgery was 27 (16 to 50) years, and the reconstruction was performed 12 (2 to 192) months after the injury. The median preoperative Tegner activity level increased from 3 (2 to 8) to 7 (2 to 9) at 26 months (P <.0001). The BMA in the calcaneus on both the injured and noninjured side decreased by 16% and 17% respectively from the preoperative measurement to the 26-month control (P =.0014; P =.0006). On all occasions, the BMA was lower on the injured side than on the noninjured side (P =.012). CONCLUSIONS: Patients with a unilateral ACL rupture had a lower BMA in the calcaneus on the injured side compared with the noninjured side. Although patients increased activity levels after reconstruction, the BMA in the calcaneus decreased on both the injured and the noninjured side up to 2 years after surgery. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Level II-1, prospective cohort study.

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