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Outcome Measures After ACL Injury in Pediatric Patients: A Scoping Review

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Background: The incidence of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries in children is increasing. However, no standardized core set of outcome measures exists for evaluating pediatric ACL injuries.

Purpose: To perform a scoping review of the literature to identify patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) and objective outcome measures used to evaluate pediatric patients after ACL injury and to classify these in accordance with the International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health (ICF) domains.

Study Design: Systematic review; Level of evidence, 4.

Methods: The literature was systematically searched with the PubMed, EMBASE, CINAHL, and PEDro databases. The inclusion criteria were Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, German, or English language; publication between 2010 and 2018; pediatric ACL injury (patients ≤15 years old); and outcome measures. The selected papers were screened for title, abstract, and full text in accordance with predefined inclusion and exclusion criteria.

Results: A total of 68 papers (4286 patients; mean ± SD age, 12.2 ± 2.3 years) were included. Nineteen PROMs and 11 objective outcome measures were identified. The most frequently reported PROMs were the International Knee Documentation Committee (IKDC) Subjective Knee Form (51% of studies), Lysholm scoring scale (46% of studies) and Tegner activity rating scale (37% of studies). Additionally, return to sport was reported in 41% of studies. The most frequent objective measures were knee laxity (76% of studies), growth disturbances (69% of studies), range of motion (41% of studies), and muscle strength (21% of studies). With respect to the ICF domains, the IKDC covered all 3 ICF health domains, the Lysholm score covered the Body Structure and Function and the Activity Limitation domains, while the Tegner score covered the Participation Restriction domain. Objectively measured knee joint laxity, range of motion, and muscle strength covered 1 domain (Body Structure and Function).

Conclusion: Pediatric patients with ACL injury were mainly evaluated subjectively with the IKDC and objectively by knee joint laxity. No consensus exists in the evaluation of children after ACL injury. The majority of applied outcome measures are developed for adults. To cover the ICF health domains, future research needs to consider reliable and valid outcome measures relevant for pediatric patients with ACL injury.

Original languageEnglish
JournalOrthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine
Issue number7
Pages (from-to)2325967119861803
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2019

ID: 58972372