A Study to Better Understand the Mechanisms that Can Cause Knee Osteoarthritis (OA) following Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Rupture and ACL Reconstruction (ACLR)


About this study

The purpose of this study is to better understand the mechanisms that can cause knee osteoarthritis (OA) following anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) rupture and ACL reconstruction (ACLR). Those who suffer an ACL injury have a dramatically increased risk of developing early onset knee OA compared to those who do not injure their ACL. While research has established a causal link between ACL injury and OA, the mechanism behind it is still unclear.

Participation eligibility

Participant eligibility includes age, gender, type and stage of disease, and previous treatments or health concerns. Guidelines differ from study to study, and identify who can or cannot participate. There is no guarantee that every individual who qualifies and wants to participate in a trial will be enrolled. Contact the study team to discuss study eligibility and potential participation.

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Patients who have undergone ACLR 
    • The first group will comprise of patients who have undergone ACLR within the past 1-3 years and have been cleared to return to sport. 
      • Target age range of 14 to 35 
    • The second group will comprise of patients who are beginning to show signs of knee OA, which may include clinical signs of OA (joint stiffness and/or pain), KOOS scores, or radiographic signs of OA (joint space narrowing).
      • The sports orthopedics and physical therapy clinics at OSU Wexner Medical Center for subject recruitment.
      • There will not be a strict age limit. However, due to the nature of the progression of OA after an ACLR, we expect that this group will be between 24-50 years of age.

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Any concomitant grade III sprain (full tear) of ligamentous structures in the knee aside from the ACL, fractures, or injuries in the leg that require surgery.
  • Acute chondral defects will also be exclusionary.
    • Meniscal injuries will not be exclusionary, as they are frequently associated with ACL tears.


Participating Mayo Clinic locations

Study statuses change often. Please contact the study team for the most up-to-date information regarding possible participation.

Mayo Clinic Location Status Contact

Rochester, Minn.

Mayo Clinic principal investigator

Timothy Hewett, Ph.D.

Closed for enrollment

Contact information:

Timothy Hewett Ph.D.


More information


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