Factors Associated With Sports Function and Psychological Readiness to Return to Sports at 12 Months After Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction: A Cross-sectional Study

Anna Cronström, Charlotte K Häger, Kristian Thorborg, Eva Ageberg

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Sports function and psychological readiness to return to sports (RTS) are important outcomes when evaluating rehabilitation after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction (ACLR). It is, however, unclear which specific factors contribute most to these outcomes.

PURPOSE: To determine associations between demographic characteristics, objective measurements of physical function, patient-reported outcome measure scores, sports-related function assessed with the Knee injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score (KOOS) Sport and Recreation subscale, and psychological readiness to RTS assessed with the Anterior Cruciate Ligament-Return to Sport after Injury (ACL-RSI) scale at 1 year after ACLR.

STUDY DESIGN: Cross-sectional study; Level of evidence, 3.

METHODS: At a mean of 12.5 ± 2.0 months after ACLR, 143 participants (50.3% female), with a mean age of 25.0 ± 5.7 years, were assessed for demographic characteristics, physical factors (hop performance, muscle strength, ankle and hip range of motion), and psychological factors (KOOS Pain and Symptoms subscales, Perceived Stress Scale, fear of reinjury) as well as the KOOS Sport and Recreation subscale and ACL-RSI scale. Backward linear regression models were used to evaluate factors associated with sports function and psychological readiness to RTS.

RESULTS: Lower isokinetic knee extension peak torque (limb symmetry index) (B = 18.38 [95% CI, 3.01-33.75]), lower preinjury activity level (B = 2.00 [95% CI, 0.87-3.14]), greater knee pain (B = 0.90 [95% CI, 0.70-1.10]), shorter time between injury and reconstruction (B = 0.16 [95% CI, 0.05-0.26]), and greater fear of reinjury (B = 0.11 [95% CI, 0.01-0.20]) were associated with a worse KOOS Sport and Recreation subscore ( R 2 = 0.683). A shorter hop distance (B = 0.15 [95% CI, 0.00-0.29]) was associated with a lower ACL-RSI score ( R 2 = 0.245).

CONCLUSION: A combination of knee muscle strength, activity level, knee pain, timing of surgery, and fear of reinjury accounted for approximately 70% of the variation in sports function at 1 year after ACLR. In contrast, there was only 1 weak association between physical function and psychological readiness to RTS at this time point. Thus, factors associated with current sports function are much better known than features related to psychological readiness to RTS.

Original languageEnglish
JournalThe American journal of sports medicine
Volume51
Issue number12
Pages (from-to)3112-3120
Number of pages9
ISSN0363-5465
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 8 Sept 2023

Keywords

  • Humans
  • Female
  • Young Adult
  • Adult
  • Male
  • Return to Sport/psychology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Reinjuries/surgery
  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injuries
  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction/rehabilitation
  • Muscle Strength/physiology
  • Pain/surgery

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