Tibial articular cartilage and meniscus geometries combine to influence female risk of anterior cruciate ligament injury



Tibial plateau subchondral bone geometry has been associated with the risk of sustaining a non-contact ACL injury; however, little is known regarding the influence of the meniscus and articular cartilage interface geometry on risk. We hypothesized that geometries of the tibial plateau articular cartilage surface and meniscus were individually associated with the risk of non-contact ACL injury. In addition, we hypothesized that the associations were independent of the underlying subchondral bone geometry. MRI scans were acquired on 88 subjects that suffered non-contact ACL injuries (27 males, 61 females) and 88 matched control subjects that were selected from the injured subject's teammates and were thus matched on sex, sport, level of play, and exposure to risk of injury. Multivariate analysis of the female data revealed that increased posterior-inferior directed slope of the middle articular cartilage region and decreased height of the posterior horn of the meniscus in the lateral compartment were associated with increased risk of sustaining a first time, non-contact ACL injury, independent of each other and of the slope of the tibial plateau subchondral bone. No measures were independently related to risk of non-contact ACL injury among males. © 2014 Orthopaedic Research Society. Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Orthop Res 32:1487–1494, 2014.