From literature, about 50% of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction patient's are predisposed to osteoarthritis (OA) later in life due to cartilage deterioration and cartilage damage from the injury [Source 1 and source 2]. From my understanding, patient's, if they develop OA, typically only develop it in their injured leg as opposed to the contralateral.
If they are avoiding weight on their injured leg and mainly using their contralateral leg, shouldn't they experience some cartilage deterioration in the contralateral as well due to the gait asymmetry? Is it because they did not have cartilage damage from the injury in that leg?
I am an engineering student studying biomechanics, but I am trying to understand the importance and relationships between ACL reconstruction and development of OA.
While we're here, also the injured leg experiences decreased knee flexion angle after injury. Does this affect cartilage deterioration if you are applying less forces from the flexion?