An Ecological Study of Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction, Part 1: Clinical Tests Do Not Correlate With Return-to-Sport Outcomes

Timothy McGrath, Gordon WADDINGTON, Jennie SCARVELL, Nick BALL, Rob Creer, Kevin Woods, Damian Smith, Roger Adams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)
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Background: Additional high-quality prospective studies are needed to better define the objective criteria used in relation to return-to-sport decisions after synthetic (ligament advanced reinforcement system [LARS]) and autograft (hamstring tendon [2ST/2GR]) anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction in active populations.
Purpose: To prospectively investigate and describe the recovery of objective clinical outcomes after autograft (2ST/2GR) and synthetic (LARS) ACL reconstructions, as well as to investigate the relationship between these clinimetric test outcomes and return-to-sport activity (Tegner activity scale [TAS] score) at 12 and 24 months postoperatively.
Study Design: Case series; Level of evidence, 4.
Methods: A total of 64 patients who underwent ACL reconstruction (32 LARS, 32 2ST/2GR autograft) and 32 healthy reference participants were assessed for joint laxity (KT-1000 arthrometer), clinical outcome (2000 International Knee Documentation Committee [IKDC] knee examination), and activity (TAS score) preoperatively and at 12, 16, 20, and 24 weeks and 12 and 24 months postoperatively.
Results: There was no significant correlation observed between clinical results using the 2000 IKDC knee examination and TAS score at 24 months (rs = 0.188, P = .137), nor were results for side-to-side difference (rs = 0.030, P = .814) or absolute KT-1000 arthrometer laxity of the surgical leg at 24 months postoperatively (rs = 0.076, P = .553) correlated with return-to-sport activity. Nonetheless, return-to-sport rates within the surgical cohort were 81% at 12 months and 83% at 24 months, respectively. No statistically significant differences were observed between physiological laxity of the uninjured knee within the surgical group compared with healthy knees within the reference group (P = .522).
Conclusion: The results indicate that although relatively high levels of return-to-sport outcomes were achieved at 24 months compared with those previously reported in the literature, correlations between objective clinical tests and return-to-sport outcomes may not occur. Clinical outcome measures may provide suitable baseline information; however, the results of this study suggest that clinicians may need to place greater emphasis on other outcome measures when seeking to objectively promote safe return to sport
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalOrthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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