Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction Surgery Timing with Respect to Meniscal‑Chondral Damage

Document Type: Original Article


Department of Orthopedics, Taleghani Hospital, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Science, Tehran, Iran


Background: Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear is one of the most common types of knee injuries. Delay in diagnosis and treatment of ACL
injuries can lead to further damage of the meniscus and cartilage. In this study, we tried to show the distribution of injuries over time and types.
Methods: This retrospective study was performed on 336 patients with the diagnosis of primary ACL tear without other ligament injuries. The
data including site and grade of the meniscal tear and cartilage damage, based on the International Cartilage Repair Society Classification, the
time between diagnosis and surgical procedure, and the treatment method were collected. In this study, we divided patients into four groups
according to injury to surgery time. Groups were 3 months, 3–6 months, 6–12 months, and over 12 months to surgery. Results: The results
showed that a rate of cartilage damage had no significant correlation with a time interval between injury and surgery (P = 0.54). Furthermore,
no significant correlation was found between the site of cartilage damage and the interval time after injury to surgery. The results indicated that
the meniscal tear increases in case of a delay to perform surgery (P = 0.004). However, no significant relation was found between the site and
pattern of meniscal injury and time. Moreover, patients with a complete ACL tear had a significantly higher rate of meniscus injury compared
to those with a partial ACL tear (0.048). Conclusion: The findings of this study show that there is no significant relationship between the
time of surgery and the risk of chondral damage after the ACL tear over time. ACL‑ruptured patients should undergo the ACL reconstruction
surgery up to 3 months from knee trauma to prevent further meniscal injuries.


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