Patient-reported Evaluation on Giving Way Is Important for Return to Preinjury Activity Level After Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction

Purpose: The present study evaluated the rate of returning to the preinjury level of competitive sports after ACLR and influential factors.

Methods: After excluding composite ligament injury cases, 96 patients with a Tegner activity score of ≥ 6 who were managed between April 2015 and March 2016 and had been followed for ≥ 2 years were included in the present study. The patients were evaluated for instability, and the following data were collected: second-look arthroscopy findings, muscle strength, and International Knee Documentation Committee (IKDC) subjective score (follow-up rate: 88.1%).

Results: The rate of returning to the preinjury level of competitive sports was 62/96 (64.6%). Only the total IKDC subjective score (odds ratio, 1.052; 95% confidence interval 1.004-1.102; p = 0.035) and the subjectively evaluated item about giving way (odds ratio, 1.762; 95% confidence interval 1.066-2.911; p = 0.027) were independently associated with the returning to the preinjury level of competitive sports after ACLR in the logistic regression analysis.

Conclusion: The rate of returning to the preinjury level of competitive sports after ACLR was 64.6%, even if a good knee stability and healing status of the sutured meniscus were acquired after ACLR. The IKDC subjective score, especially the item about giving way, was significantly associated with the returning to the preinjury level of competitive sports. The factors assessed by patient-reported evaluations concerning giving way that may be related to functional performance, including brain activity, are important to consider to improve the rate of returning to the preinjury level of competitive sports.

Level of evidence: III.

Keywords: Anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction; Meniscus; Muscle strength; Returning to the preinjury level of competitive sports; Subjective patient report score.