I'm 40 years old. Had ACL reconstruction with patellar tendon graft, and partial medial meniscus removal at the age of 18. Started casually running "fun runs" on and off from age 25 to 37. Then started to train for half marathons and running on a regular basis for the past 3 years. For the most part my knee does fine. Sometimes it will hurt a little but it never swells. I've had xrays recently and there is no xray evidence of Osteoarthritis, however I do have earliest of stage 1 Osteoarthritis evident via MRI. I've researched and it seems most people my age will have some evidence of OA on MRI scan. My orthopedic doctor has not told me to stop running, but did say I should not be a "marathon runner". And that I need to cross-train in order to stay where I'm at regarding the OA and not progress further. I love to run and it keeps me in shape. My weight is low and I'm in pretty fit condition. Is there anyone out there who had ACL surgery and continued to run for many years without facing knee replacement? My surgery was 22 years ago and I'd like to keep running regularly but absolutely DO NOT want knee replacements. Wondering what the effects of running will be 20 years from now. Thanks for any advice!
Trauma to a joint (Joint surgery is a controlled trauma) almost gaurrenttees that jthe oint will develop post traumatic osteoarthritis, the only question is will it manifest at 10 years or 40 hears from trauma. There large amount of literature still investigating whether ACL surgery delays or speeds up the arthritic process. Comparing running and biking as a form of aerobic exercise it makes more since to enjoy biking as opposed to running as there is significant less high rate of impact loading into the joint cartilage. There is a large amount of literature identifying obesity as a signficant risk factor for development of osteoarthritis and post traumatic osteoarthritis. Stay fit keep your body weight under control.
Damien Howell PT, DPT, OCS