Characterization of Cartilage Injury and Associated Treatment at the Time of Primary Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction

Patrick K. Mescher*, Ashley B. Anderson, Travis J. Dekker, Veronika Pav, Jonathan F. Dickens

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears with concomitant cartilage injuries resulting in ACL reconstruction (ACLR) with cartilaginous procedures are common in the young, high-demand population. The purpose of this study was to report and characterize cartilage treatments performed at the time of index ACLR reconstruction and to determine if those treatments are associated with revision surgery (of any kind) in the 4-year follow-up. We performed a consecutive series of active duty service members in the Military Health System Data Repository with ACLR with and without concomitant cartilage procedures done at military facilities between October 2008 and September 2011. Patients were continuously enrolled with no history of knee surgeries for 2 years prior to primary ACLR. ACLR failure was defined as revision ACLR within 4 years following the primary ACLR. Of the 2,735 primary ACLRs included in the study, 5.3% (143/2,735) underwent isolated ACLR with a cartilage procedure. Of these patients, 23.07% (33/143) experienced ACLR failure within 4 years after ACLR with cartilage procedures, including 33.33% (11/33) undergoing revision ACLR. We found concomitant cartilage procedures at time of index ACLR to have the following rates of revision 35.59% (21/59) for microfracture, 14.63% (6/41) for chondroplasty, and 13.95% (6/43) for osteochondral grafts. The overall clinical failure rate of service members with ACLR plus concomitant cartilage procedure is 23.07% with minimum 4-year follow-up. Further research should be done to identify modifiable demographic and surgical factors associated with failure. This is a retrospective case-control study that reflects level of evidence III.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1175-1180
Number of pages6
JournalThe journal of knee surgery
Issue number11
StatePublished - 5 Sep 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • anterior cruciate ligament
  • anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction
  • anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction with cartilage injury
  • incidence of chondral injury with ACL rupture


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