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Child Orthopedics
Spine - Cervical
Spine - Lumbar
Spine - Thoracic

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I had knee surgery for a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) last year. Is it true that if you tear this ligament you end up getting osteoarthritis in the knee?

Had you asked this question ten years ago, the answer would have been a confident "yes." With today's advancement in surgical and rehabilitation procedures, the answer isn't so simple. It depends on if there is damage of the meniscus or joint cartilage at the time of ACL surgery. If so, the chances are pretty good of having more symptoms and possible signs of osteoarthritis in the knee with the passage of time. People with a straightforward ACL reconstruction, meaning there's no damage to the meniscus or cartilage, are less likely to end up with osteoarthritis in the knee. A recent study showed that 97 percent of the people with healthy meniscus and cartilage at the time of ACL surgery returned to high-level sports, showed no signs of osteoarthritis, and had no increase in symptoms up to 15 years after their surgery.  


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