Over 100,000 people undergo ACL reconstruction every year in the United States. Those surgeries help most of them return to sports by providing a stable knee. In this Ask Dr. Geier video, I discuss whether ACL surgery helps to prevent arthritis after an ACL injury years later.

Sienna asks:
Dr. Geier, what are the statistics regarding the percentage of people who will suffer from arthritis after an ACL injury? I’ve heard some people say that it’s almost 100% that one will eventually have some degree of arthritis, somewhere in their future, after an ACL injury.

ACL reconstruction surgeries aim to replace the injured ligament and restore stability to the knee. What’s harder to predict is whether that surgery will prevent arthritis from setting in. As I discuss in this video, rates of arthritis in the surgical knee are higher than in the uninjured knee, but those rates might be lower than if the patient never has surgery.

Also read:
Ask Dr. Geier: Does ACL surgery prevent arthritis?
Ask Dr. Geier – ACL surgery and older athletes

X-rays showing knee arthritis after an ACL injury

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