Background: Biomechanical predictors of a second anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury after ACL reconstruction (ACLR) and return to sport (RTS) have been identified; however, these measures may not be feasible in a standard clinical environment. Purpose/Hypothesis: The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether standard clinical measures predicted the risk of second ACL injuries. The hypothesis tested was that a combination of strength, function, and patient-reported measures at the time of RTS would predict the risk of second ACL injuries with high sensitivity and specificity. Study Design: Case-control study; Level of evidence, 3 and Cohort study (prognosis); Level of evidence, 1. Methods: A total of 163 participants (mean age, 16.7 ± 3.0 years) who underwent primary ACLR and were able to RTS were evaluated. All participants completed an assessment of isokinetic strength, hop testing, balance, and the Knee Injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score (KOOS). Participants were tracked for a minimum of 24 months to identify occurrences of a second ACL injury. The initial 120 participants enrolled were used to develop a clinical prediction model that utilized classification and regression tree (CART) analysis, and the remaining 43 participants enrolled were used as a validation dataset. Additional analyses were performed in all 163 participants using Kaplan-Meier analysis and Cox proportional hazards modeling. Results: Approximately 20% (23/114) of the initial subset of the cohort suffered a second ACL injury. CART analysis identified age, sex, knee-related confidence, and performance on the triple hop for distance at the time of RTS as the primary predictors of a second ACL injury. Using these variables, a model was generated from which high-risk (n = 53) and low-risk groups (n = 61) were identified. A total of 22 participants in the high-risk group and 1 participant in the low-risk group suffered a second ACL injury. High-risk participants fit 1 of 2 profiles: (1) age <19 years, triple hop for distance between 1.34 and 1.90 times body height, and triple hop for distance limb symmetry index (LSI) <98.5% (n = 43) or (2) age <19 years, triple hop for distance >1.34 times body height, triple hop for distance LSI >98.5%, female sex, and high knee-related confidence (n = 10). The validation step identified the high-risk group as being 5 times (odds ratio, 5.14 [95% CI, 1.00-26.46]) more likely to suffer a second ACL injury, with a sensitivity of 66.7% and specificity of 72.0%. Conclusion: These findings recognize measures that accurately identify young patients at high risk of sustaining a second ACL injury within 24 months after RTS. The development of a clinical decision algorithm to identify high-risk patients, inclusive of clinically feasible variables such as age, sex, confidence, and performance on the triple hop for distance, can serve as a foundation to re-evaluate appropriate discharge criteria for RTS.
- clinical prediction rule
- second injury
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine