March 17, 2015
1 min read

Fear of pain following ACL reconstruction may inhibit return to play

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Results from a recently published study demonstrated that patients who underwent ACL reconstruction and did not return-to-play may have been influenced by the fear of pain despite not having significant pain present.

Researchers studied 73 patients undergoing ACL reconstruction. Patients were assigned to specific cohorts based on whether they did (YRTS; 46 patients) or did not (NRTS) return to sports activity postoperatively. Those in the NRTS cohort were subdivided by whether or not fear of reinjury/lack of confidence (14 and 13 patients, respectively) was the primary reason cited for not returning to sports activity. Metrics evaluated included IKDC function, quadriceps index (QI), quadriceps strength/body weight (QSBW), hamstring-to-quadriceps strength ratio, pain intensity, and TSK-11 values at 6 months and 12 months postoperatively.

Of those in the NRTS-Fear/Confidence cohort, patients were generally older with lower QSBW and IKDC values, according to the researchers. Additionally, these patients tended to have higher TSK-11 values at both follow-up points despite similar pain levels when compared with patients in the YRTS cohort.

Trevor A. Lentz

The researchers found IKDC values were linked with QSBW and pain values at 6 months postoperatively and QSBW, pain, QI and TSK-11 at 12 months postoperatively in the NRTS-Fear/Confidence cohort. – by Christian Ingram

Disclosure: Lentz reports no relevant financial disclosures. Please see the full study for a list of all other authors’ relevant financial disclosures.