Severe bicompartmental bone bruise is associated with rotatory instability in anterior cruciate ligament injury

Piero Agostinone, Stefano Di Paolo, Gian Andrea Lucidi, Giacomo Dal Fabbro, Alberto Grassi, Stefano Zaffagnini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


PURPOSE: The presence and severity of bone bruise is more and more investigated in the non-contact anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury context. Recent studies have advocated a correlation between bone bruise and preoperative knee laxity. The aim of the present study was to investigate the correlation between bone bruise and preoperative rotatory knee laxity.

METHODS: Twenty-nine patients (29.1 ± 9.8 years) with MRI images at a maximum of 3 months after ACL injury (1.6 ± 0.8 months) were included. The bone bruise severity was evaluated according to the International Cartilage Repair Society (ICRS) scale for lateral femoral condyle, lateral tibial plateau, medial femoral condyle, and medial tibial plateau. The intraoperative rotational knee laxity was evaluated through a surgical navigation system in terms of internal-external rotation at 30° and 90° of knee flexion (IE30, IE90) and internal-external rotation and acceleration during pivot-shift test (PS IE, PS ACC). The KOOS score was also collected. The association between ICRS grade of bone bruise and rotational laxity or KOOS was investigated.

RESULTS: Significant correlation (p < 0.05) was found between the bone bruise severity on the medial tibial plateau and rotational laxity (IE90, PS IE, and PS ACC) and between the severity of bone bruise on femoral lateral condyle and KOOS-Symptoms sub-score. The presence of bone bruise on the medial tibial plateau was significantly associated with a lateral femoral notch sign > 2 mm (very strong odds ratio). No kinematical differences were found between none-to-deep and extensive-generalized lateral bone bruise, while higher IE30 and IE90 were found in extensive-generalized bicompartmental bone bruise than isolated extensive-generalized lateral bone bruise.

CONCLUSION: A severe bicompartmental bone bruise was related to higher rotatory instability in the intraoperative evaluation of ACL deficient knees. The severity of edema on the medial tibial plateau was directly correlated with higher intraoperative pivot shift, and the size of edema on the lateral femoral condyle was associated with lower preoperative clinical scores.


Original languageEnglish
JournalKnee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Sep 7 2021


  • ACL injury
  • Bone bruise
  • Pivot shift
  • Surgical navigation


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