Functional performance tests, clinical measurements, and patient-reported outcome measures do not correlate as outcomes 1 year after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction

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The results after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction (ACLR) are evaluated by laxity measures, functional tests, and patients’ perception by patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs). It is not known, if one of these evaluation instruments is representative or if outcome scores from all must be reported to obtain a full evaluation of the condition. The aim was to study the correlations between these three types of outcomes 1 year after primary ACLR.

All adult patients (range 18–45 years) who had an ACLR between 1.1.2019 and 31.12.2021 were offered 1-year follow-up by an independent observer. Preoperative information about knee laxity and peroperative information about the condition of menisci and cartilage were registered. At 1-year follow-up clinical and instrumented knee stability and function assessed by four different hop tests were registered. Patients completed four PROMs (the Subjective International Knee Documentation Committee (IKDC) score, the Knee Numeric-Entity Evaluation Score (KNEES-ACL), the Knee injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score (KOOS) and the Lysholm score) and Tegner activity scale and answered anchor questions regarding satisfaction and willingness to repeat the operation.

A total of 190 adults attended the 1-year follow-up and 151 had all assessments. There were only a few positive and weak correlations between performance tests and PROMS and between clinical measurements and PROMS (r = 0.00–0.38), and the majority were of negligible strength. Tegner score had in general the highest correlation (low to moderate). The highest correlation was 0.53 (moderate) between the anchor question about patient satisfaction and Lysholm/IKDC scores. There was no difference in the correlations depending on meniscal condition.

In ACLR patients there was no clinically relevant correlation between scores obtained by PROMs, a battery of functional performance tests and instrumented laxity of the knee at 1-year follow-up. Therefore, one type of outcome cannot represent the others. This is an argument for always to include and report all three types of outcomes, and conclusions based on one type of outcome may not be sufficient.
TidsskriftKnee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy
Sider (fra-til)5905–591
Antal sider8
StatusUdgivet - 2023

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