INTRODUCTION: Knee injury history and increased joint load, respectively, are major risk factors for the development of knee osteoarthritis (OA). Lower extremity muscle function, such as knee muscle strength, influence joint load and may be important for the onset of knee OA. However, the role of muscle function as a possible modifiable protective mechanism for the development of OA after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction (ACLR) is not clear.

METHODS AND ANALYSIS: In this prospective cohort study, 100 patients (50% women, 18-35 years) with ACLR will be recruited from Skåne University Hospital, Sweden and Oslo University Hospital, Norway. They will be assessed with a comprehensive test battery of muscle function including muscle strength, muscle activation, hop performance, and postural orientation as well as patient-reported outcomes, one year (baseline) and three years (follow-up) after ACLR. Primary predictor will be knee extension strength, primary outcome will be patient-reported knee pain (Knee injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score, subscale pain) and secondary outcomes include compositional MRI (T2 mapping) and turnover of cartilage and bone biomarkers. Separate linear regression model will be used to elucidate the influence of each baseline muscle function variable on the outcomes at follow-up, adjusted for baseline values. Twenty non-injured individuals will also be assessed with MRI. This study is approved by The Regional Ethical Review Board in Lund (Sweden) and Oslo (Norway).

DISCUSSION: This study may have important clinical implications for using muscle function to screen for risk of early-onset knee OA and for optimizing exercise therapy after knee injury.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100102
Number of pages7
JournalOsteoarthritis and Cartilage Open
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Dec

Bibliographical note

© 2020 The Authors.

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Physiotherapy
  • Orthopedics

Free keywords

  • Osteoarthritis
  • ACL injury
  • Muscle function
  • Prevention


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