The Relationship between ACL injuries and Arthritis


Jason Lalli has a story to tell when it comes to the cruciate ligament injuries and arthritis. He says that he injured his cruciate ligament at the age of 26. He used to play for his school soccer team and later in recreational teams. He knew that tearing the anterior cruciate ligament was debilitating. He also knew that orthopedists would fix the problem at ease. After the injury, he thought that he would just miss a season and would be back. He also thought that when he left football, he would turn to a football coach, at least for the rest of his life. However, as he explains, things didn’t go as planned and the pain at the knee became serious. At the same time, the pain became nagging, constant with time comparing it to that of a toothache. After a period of one year, his doctor informed him that he had arthritis. He was not surprised as he had predicted this all along. According to research by leading orthopedists, people who suffer torn ligaments and tendons are at a higher risk of contracting arthritis. This is not determined by age. However, orthopedists have said that it’s difficult to quantify the long-term risks associated with the condition as most of the patients don’t allow for extended studies of their injuries.

The data has been reviewed by Harvard Medical School orthopedics professor known as Dr. Mininder Kocher. He concluded that for people who have suffered a tendon or ligament injury, they are likely to suffer from arthritis in a decade. The likelihood currently sits at 50 percent. Mr. Lalli is now 39 years old and lives in Canonsburg, Pa. He says that the pain is too much and he can barely walk. This saw him give up on soccer. At the same time, he says that he has tried other activities such as cycling and swimming only to discover that his heart was not into these activities. He says that he had never been warned by any doctor that he would acquire arthritis because of a ligament injury. Dr. Kocher says that this is a dirty little secret that doctors cover up. However, Dr. Kocher says that he is worried as he spends his days treating teenagers with these problems. He says that in one year, he can conduct over 150 ACL reconstructions. The same worries have been confirmed by research that was carried out by Britt Elin Oiestad.


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