Master's Culminating Experience
Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears are one of the most frequent soft tissue injuries of the knee. A torn ACL leaves the knee joint unstable and at risk for further damage to other soft tissues manifested as pain, dislocation, and osteoarthritis. A better understanding of the dimensional details of knee joints suffering ACL tears and a prediction model for individuals susceptible to tears is needed. Using a cross-sectional study design, magnetic resonance images (MRIs) of 72 patients with knee injuries were evaluated from an orthopedic surgery group practice. The status of the ACL was the main variable of interest, creating two groups of comparison, ACL tear and ACL non-tear joints. Epidemiological risk factors and digital measurements were compared in both groups leading to empirical data correlations. Positive smoking status and the length of the ACL in the sagittal plane were found to be significantly more likely in the ACL tear group. The modifiable variable, BMI and ACL measurements in the sagittal plane were used towards the development of a prediction model to establish the critical dimensions for non-tear and tear ACLs. The further development of this equation might allow for identification of individuals at high risk for ACL tear and direction of these individuals towards targeted ACL intervention programs.
Estes, K. (2011). ACL Injuries in Montgomery County, OH: Moving toward the Development of a Prediction Model. Wright State University, Dayton, Ohio.