A comparison of patients released to return to activity after ACL reconstruction and those who were not found no link between clinical impairment measures used to determine return to sport and patient function.
Researchers examined 98 patients 6 months after ACL reconstruction for swelling, range of motion, strength and graft stability. Pain scores, effusion presence, range of motion, Lachman and pivot test results were also collected. Graft laxity was also measured using the KT-1000 arthrometer. Patients were allowed to return to sport based on their clinical evaluation.
After the initial clinical evaluation, a blinded, experienced tester examined patient function using the Functional Movement Screen (FMS) and Lower Quarter Y Balance test (YBT-LQ).
Overall, 37 patients were cleared to return to sports and 61 were not cleared to return. Thirty-two patients in the cleared group did not have effusion; five patients had grade 1 effusion. Ten patients in the non-cleared group had grade 1 effusion, and the remaining patients had no effusion. No patients in either group had a pivot shift.
According to researchers, all cleared patients obtained flexion equal to or greater than the contralateral leg. Four patients from each group after isokinetic quadriceps tests had equal or better strength compared with the contralateral leg. Thirteen patients in the cleared group had mild deficits; three had moderate deficits and one had significant deficit. In the non-cleared group, 20 patients had mild deficits; 12 had moderate deficits and one had a significant deficit.
Groups were not significantly different for both FMS and YBT-LQ scores.
“Performance of both functional tests, the FMS and YBT-LQ, at 6 months would suggest that the typical patient in both groups would be at a greater risk of lower extremity injury, based on currently published research,” the authors wrote. ‒ by Monica Jaramillo
Disclosures: Mayer reports no relevant financial disclosures. Please see the full study for a list of all other author’s relevant financial disclosures.