Meniscus treatment and age associated with narrower radiographic joint space width 2-3 years after ACL reconstruction: data from the MOON onsite cohort.

Journal Article (Multicenter Study;Journal Article)


To identify risk factors for radiographic signs of post-traumatic osteoarthritis (OA) 2-3 years after anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction through multivariable analysis of minimum joint space width (mJSW) differences in a specially designed nested cohort.


A nested cohort within the Multicenter Orthopaedic Outcomes Network (MOON) cohort included 262 patients (148 females, average age 20) injured in sport who underwent ACL reconstruction in a previously uninjured knee, were 35 or younger, and did not have ACL revision or contralateral knee surgery. mJSW on semi-flexed radiographs was measured in the medial compartment using a validated computerized method. A multivariable generalized linear model was constructed to assess mJSW difference between the ACL reconstructed and contralateral control knees while adjusting for potential confounding factors.


Unexpectedly, we found the mean mJSW was 0.35 mm wider in ACL reconstructed than in control knees (5.06 mm (95% CI 4.96-5.15 mm) vs 4.71 mm (95% CI 4.62-4.80 mm), P < 0.001). However, ACL reconstructed knees with meniscectomy had narrower mJSW compared to contralateral normal knees by 0.64 mm (95% C.I. 0.38-0.90 mm) (P < 0.001). Age (P < 0.001) and meniscus repair (P = 0.001) were also significantly associated with mJSW difference.


Semi-flexed radiographs can detect differences in mJSW between ACL reconstructed and contralateral normal knees 2-3 years following ACL reconstruction, and the unexpected wider mJSW in ACL reconstructed knees may represent the earliest manifestation of post-traumatic osteoarthritis and warrants further study.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Jones, MH; Spindler, KP; Fleming, BC; Duryea, J; Obuchowski, NA; Scaramuzza, EA; Oksendahl, HL; Winalski, CS; Duong, CL; Huston, LJ; Parker, RD; Kaeding, CC; Andrish, JT; Flanigan, DC; Dunn, WR; Reinke, EK

Published Date

  • April 2015

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 23 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 581 - 588

PubMed ID

  • 25559582

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC4601556

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1522-9653

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1063-4584

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.joca.2014.12.018


  • eng