Comparative Influence of Sport Type on Outcome After Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction at Minimum 2-Year Follow-up

Published:October 20, 2016DOI:


      To investigate differences between sport types for patient-reported outcome after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction (ACLR).


      Included patients were enrolled as part of a prospective institutional ACL registry. Inclusion criteria were preoperative self-identification as a competitive athlete, maximum score on the preoperative Marx Activity Scale, and minimum 2-year follow-up. Demographic, intraoperative, and outcome data were extracted from the registry. Outcome tools administered as part of the registry included International Knee Documentation Committee (IKDC), Lysholm-Tegner Scales, Marx Activity Scale (MAS), and 12-Item Short Form Health Survey (SF-12).


      A total of 294 patients with a mean age of 25.5 years (standard deviation 12.1) met the study inclusion criteria; mean follow-up was 3.7 years. Included sports categories were soccer (n = 92; 31.3%), skiing (n = 67; 22.8%), basketball (n = 56; 19.1%), lacrosse (n = 38; 12.9%), football (n = 29; 9.9%), and Tennis (n = 12; 4.1%). At baseline, compared with other sports, lacrosse players have higher outcome scores while skiers had lower scores. At 2-year follow-up, however, across all outcome tools, football players demonstrated significantly higher outcome scores than all other athletes (IKDC, 93.2, P = .001; Lysholm, 93.2, P = .03; MAS, 13.1, P = .03; SF-12 Mental Component Summary, 57.9, P = .0002). Conversely, at 2-year follow-up, soccer players demonstrated a significantly lower Lysholm (86.7, P = .02) and a trend toward lower IKDC (85.6, P = .09) scores.


      Patient-reported outcomes after ACLR among active athletes are comparable. Football players demonstrate quantitatively higher outcome scores whereas soccer players have lower scores. However, these outcome score differences may not be clinically significant and may be subject to confounding variables. Continued attention should be paid to understanding sport-specific outcome after ACLR.

      Level of Evidence

      Level IV, therapeutic case series.
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