Quality of Life After ACL RepairPatient reports of knee function and activity level are important outcomes after anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction. Returning to the same preinjury sports level is an important goal for many athletes after ACL repair.
In this study, patient self-reported outcomes are compared for two groups of patients. Group one was five or more years after ACL repair. Group two was between two and four years out from surgery.
Results were measured using surveys mailed to the former patients. A specific tool called the IKDC Subjective Knee Evaluation was used. It assesses symptoms, function, and sports activity.
All patients in both groups had an ACL reconstruction using allograft (donated) tissue. Both groups were similar in age and level of activity before their ACL injuries.
The results between both groups were the same with the exception of lower scores on the sports activity scales. Both groups had lower scores but moreso for group one. This group (more than five years after surgery) reported more symptoms and greater functional limitations keeping them from engaging in sports.
The authors suggest that most ACL patients naturally decrease sports activity after surgery to protect themselves from further injury. Later, they may decline even more because of aging. It's also possible patients memory of before and after treatment is faulty.
Further research is needed to compare patient's perceived function and actual limitations.
Kevin Harreld, et al. Self-Reported Patient Outcomes After ACL Reconstruction with Allograft Tissue. In Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. December 2006. Vol. 38. No. 12. Pp. 2058-2067.
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