Psychological Patient-reported Outcomes Cannot Predict a Second Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injury in Patients who Return to Sports after an Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction.
Piussi R, Simonson R, Högberg J, Thomeé R, Samuelsson K, Hamrin Senorski E.
Background: Psychological patient-reported outcomes (PROs) are recommended for use in test batteries to aid in decision-making, regarding whether patients are well prepared to return to sports (RTS) after anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction. However, the values that should be regarded as “pass” or “fail” are still unclear.
Purpose: This study aimed to identify cut-off values for three commonly used psychological PROs that could differentiate patients who suffer a second ACL injury from patients who do not within two years of RTS in patients after ACL reconstruction with respect to recovery of symmetrical quadriceps strength.
Study design: Diagnostic/prognostic study
Methods: Demographic data, isokinetic strength test data for quadriceps, as well as results for the ACL-Return to Sport after Injury scale (ACL-RSI), Knee Injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score (KOOS) Quality of Life, and Function in Sport and Recreation sub-scales, and the 18-item version of the Knee Self-Efficacy Scale (K-SES18) were extracted from a registry. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves were calculated for each PRO. Accuracy of the cut-offs was presented with two summary measures for the ROC: the area under the curve (AUC) and Youden index.
Results: In total, 641 (355 men, 61%) patients (24.8 [SD 7.6] year old at ACL reconstruction) were included. The cut-off values were not able to differentiate patients who suffered a second ACL injury up to 24 months after RTS and ACL reconstruction from patients who did not. Additionally, achieving symmetrical quadriceps strength did not improve the cut-off psychometric properties.
Conclusion: Since cut-off values could not differentiate between patients who suffered a second ACL injury and those who did not, clinicians should not rely only on cut-off values or a single PRO of those analyzed in this study when making decisions on which patients are at risk of experiencing a second ACL injury when returning to sports after ACL reconstruction.
Level of Evidence: Level 3