Body Mass Index as an Indicator of Associated Intra-articular Injuries in Patients With Anterior Cruciate Ligament Tears


This study assessed the relationship between body mass index (BMI), anterior cruciate ligament (ACL)
injury, and associated meniscal and cartilage injury. Age, ACL classification, and Tegner activity score
were considered. A total of 1968 ACL reconstruction patients (2/1/1996 to 5/1/2012) were analyzed.
All graft types, age groups, and activity levels were included. A BMI ½30 correlated with a significant
likelihood of medial meniscus tears (p D .022). Patients with a BMI ½30 were 21.6% more likely to have
a medial meniscus tear with an ACL injury. Grade III and IV chondral lesions correlated with a BMI
½30 (p D .029). Patient’s age predicted medial meniscus outcome (p D .013). Patients whose age was
>25 had a 25.7% higher risk of medial meniscus tear. Chronic ACL patients were 52.6% more likely
to have a meniscus injury. BMI, age, Tegner activity score, and ACL classification are good predictors
of medial meniscus injury. Patients with a BMI ½30 exhibit a greater risk of medial meniscus tear
with ACL instability; however, BMI does not significantly contribute to increased chondral damage in
ACL-deficient patients. ( Journal of Surgical Orthopaedic Advances 24(3):159–163, 2015)

Key words: ACL, articular damage, BMI, intra-articular cartilage injury; medial meniscus injury, obesity

Gene R. Barrett, MD; Kasey E. Thibodeaux, MS; William H. Replogle, PhD; Austin Barrett, MD; Taylor Parks, BS; Donald Baker, MD