THURSDAY, July 7 (HealthDay News) -- Men who undergo surgery for a torn or overstretched anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) appear to face a higher risk than women for developing a hole in their knee cartilage, new Norwegian research indicates.
Such holes can result from stress on the knee that strikes following an ACL injury, and these lesions can raise the chances of developing osteoarthritis, the study authors noted.
The identification of a gender risk factor stems from work involving nearly 16,000 Norwegian and Swedish patients that was conducted by a team led by Dr. Jan Harald Roetterud, from Akershus University Hospital in Lorenskog, Norway.
He and his colleagues are slated to present their findings Thursday at the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine annual meeting in San Diego.
According to the U.S. National Institutes of Health, the ACL is one of four principal ligaments that connect the end of the thigh bone (the femur) to the top of the shin bone (the tibia) in the knee. The ACL is situated in the middle of the knee, and its function is to stabilize the rotational movement of the knee and to keep the tibia from dislocating.
ACL injuries involving tears and overstretching are extremely common among both male and female athletes engaged in sports that entail a great deal of jumping or tackling.
Because recovery requires treatment, surgery is often called for to reconstruct the torn ligament.
As it turns out, many surgical patients are women, mostly because anatomical and muscular gender differences appear to raise the risk for an ACL injury more among women than men.
To see whether the same gender dynamic is at play with regard to ACL-associated cartilage issues, Roetterud and his team focused on a large pool of ACL reconstructive surgery patients who underwent the treatment between 2005 and 2008.
The authors found that 6.4 p
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