Document Type


Peer Reviewed


Publication Date


NLM Title Abbreviation

Open Access J Sports Med

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Open Access Journal of Sports Medicine

PubMed ID


DOI of Published Version


Start Page


End Page



BACKGROUND: Bone contusions are frequently encountered in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) evaluation of knee anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries. Their role as indicators of injury severity remains unclear, primarily due to indeterminate levels of joint injury forces and to a lack of preinjury imaging.

PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to 1) quantify bone contusion pathogenesis following traumatic joint injuries using fixed imaging follow-ups, and 2) assess the feasibility of using longitudinal bone contusion volumes as an indicator of knee injury severity.

STUDY DESIGN: Prospective sequential MRI follow-ups of a goat cohort exposed to controlled stifle trauma in vivo were compared to parallel clinical MRI follow-ups of a human ACL tear patient series.

METHODS: Reproducible cartilage impact damage of various energy magnitudes was applied in a survival goat model, coupled with partial resection of anterior portions of medial menisci. Both emulate injury patterns to the knee osteochondral structures commonly encountered in human ACL injury imaging as well as instability from resultant ligament laxity. Longitudinal clinical MRI sequences portrayed stifle bone contusion evolution through 6 months after the inciting event.

RESULTS: In the first 2 weeks, biological response variability dominated the whole-joint response with no apparent correlation to trauma severity. Control goats subjected to partial meniscectomy alone exhibited minimal bone response. Thereafter, 0.6 J impact bone contusions portrayed a faster rate of resolution than those induced by 1.2 J cartilage impacts.

CONCLUSION: Bone contusion sizes combined with time of persistence are likely better measures of joint injury severity than isolated bone contusion volume.


OAfund, bone contusion, contusion pathogenesis, anterior cruciate ligament, magnetic resonance imaging, knee, knee injury severity

Granting or Sponsoring Agency

American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine, NIH/NIAMS

Grant Number

P50 AR055533

Journal Article Version

Version of Record

Published Article/Book Citation

Open Access J Sports Med, 8 (2017) pp 9-15.


Copyright © 2017 Pedersen et al

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 License