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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Intra-articular calcifications following arthroscopic ACL reconstruction: Prevalence and possible significance

  • Author(s): Seeger, LL
  • Sako, E
  • Motamedi, K
  • Levine, BD
  • Hame, SL
  • et al.

Purpose: The goal of our study was to determine the frequency of intra-articular calcifications on initial postoperative radiographs following arthroscopic ACL reconstruction, describe their appearance, hypothesize their etiology, and determine their significance. Materials and methods: Review of records and post-operative radiographs for individuals undergoing arthroscopic ACL reconstruction at our institution identified 758 knees between November 2002 and April 2010. All patients underwent femoral and tibial tunnel drilling regardless of graft source. All but 23 underwent notchplasty. Results: Intra-articular calcifications on initial postoperative radiographs were observed in 252 knees. The majority of calcifications were curvilinear, paralleling the posterior femoral condyles. Nineteen of the patients with calcifications on initial studies had repeat radiographs within 6 years. The calcifications resolved in every case. Conclusions: This study shows that intra-articular calcifications are a common finding on initial post-operative radiographs following ACL reconstruction. We feel they are of doubtful clinical significance, and in our limited experience, they eventually resolve. They should not be confused with chondrocalcinosis or vascular calcification. © 2013 ISS.

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