Tibiofemoral bone bruise volume is not associated with meniscal injury and knee laxity in patients with anterior cruciate ligament rupture



This study aimed at evaluating the association between the volume of the bone bruises and the magnitude of knee sagittal laxity and presence of meniscal injury in patients with anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) rupture. It was hypothesized that higher volumes of bone bruises will be associated with increased knee laxity and the presence of meniscal injury.


Patients with clinical diagnosis of ACL injury were referred for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and knee sagittal laxity measurement with a mechanical instrumented device (Porto-Knee Testing Device). The femoral and tibial bone bruises were assessed by MRI and the volume measured by manually contouring the bone bruise using a computerized software and computed by a mathematical algorithm combining all measured areas. The ACL rupture type (partial or total), meniscal tear (medial or lateral), and the localization of bone bruise were also analyzed.


Seventy-six ACL-ruptured participants were included and 34 patients displayed bone bruises. Tibiofemoral sagittal laxity was higher in participants with complete ACL rupture (p < 0.05), but not influenced by the volume of bone bruises and meniscal status (n.s.). The volume of bone bruises was not significantly associated with the meniscal lesion or with the tibiofemoral sagittal laxity, independently of the meniscal injury status (n.s.).


The volume of femoral and/or tibial bone bruises was not associated with the type of ACL injury, tibiofemoral sagittal laxity or the status of meniscal injury. Bone bruises must be considered as a radiographic sign of injury and should not be suggestive of injury severity and not overvalued.

Level of evidence

Retrospective cohort study, Level III.

IRB number


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The authors declare that there was no funding of this study.

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Correspondence to João Espregueira-Mendes.

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JEM is the patent holder of the PKTD but does not receive any royalties or fees.

Ethical approval

This study was approved by the Institutional Ethical Committee (IRB number: 0011/0014). The study protocol was conducted in accordance with the ethical standards of the responsible committee on human experimentation and with the Helsinki Declaration.

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Bastos, R., Andrade, R., Vasta, S. et al. Tibiofemoral bone bruise volume is not associated with meniscal injury and knee laxity in patients with anterior cruciate ligament rupture. Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc 27, 3318–3326 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00167-018-5343-2

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  • Bone bruise
  • Bone contusion
  • Knee laxity
  • Meniscal injury