Incidence and Risk Factors for Acute Articular Cartilage Tears in Military and Other Occupational Settings: A Systematic Review

Kristy Robson*, Rodney Pope, Rob Marc Orr

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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Damage to the articular cartilage resulting in an acute tear can lead to functional changes within the joint and increase the risk of osteoarthritis developing. There is limited understanding of the association between occupational risk factors and sustaining an acute articular cartilage tear in the military and other physically demanding occupations. Therefore, the aim of this systematic review was to identify and evaluate original research reporting on occupational risk factors associated with sustaining acute articular cartilage tears. Methods: A systematic review following the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic review and Meta-Analysis—Protocols was conducted and registered with the Open Science Framework. Key academic databases were searched using terms from the following concepts: risk or cause, paid occupations, and acute articular cartilage tears. Results: Of an initial 941 studies, 2 studies met the eligibility criteria, both reporting data from military contexts; only one evaluated acute articular cartilage tears in both males and females. One paper focused on articular cartilage injury within the knee and the other within the ankle joint with incidence rates being 0.2 and 0.3 per 1000 person-years, respectively. People in more physically active occupations and individuals with an above-normal body mass index were reported as being at higher risk of sustaining an acute articular cartilage tear. Conclusion: Physically demanding occupations, such as the military, may increase the risk for acute tears of the articular cartilage. However, the findings of this review indicate there is a paucity of research to underpin understanding of the injury mechanisms and occupational risk factors for acute articular cartilage tears.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 6 Mar 2024


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