Which Metrics Are Being Used to Evaluate Children and Adolescents After ACL Reconstruction? A Systematic Review

PLUTO Study Group

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Purpose: To identify a comprehensive list of outcome measures previously used in the literature to evaluate clinical outcomes after reconstruction of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in patients 18 years of age or younger. Methods: A literature search was performed by querying MEDLINE, Embase and Cochrane computerized databases for relevant articles that reported clinical outcomes in pediatric patients undergoing ACL reconstruction. Studies that were nonclinical, that reported on patients older than 19 years, that were not available in English, or that included fewer than 10 patients were excluded. Outcome measures of all eligible studies were recorded. Results: We identified 77 studies published between 1986 and 2018 in 20 peer-reviewed journals. The mean age of the patients was 13.9 years. The ACL rerupture rate was reported in 60% of studies; 32 studies (42%) reported a rate of return to preinjury activity or sports. The use of adult-validated patient-reported outcome measures were reported in 63 (82%) articles. The Lysholm (64%), International Knee Documentation Committee (IKDC) (56%) and Tegner (37%) scores were the most commonly reported. Two patient-reported outcome measures designed for pediatric patients (the Pedi-IKDC and Hospital for Special Surgery Pediatric Functional Activity Brief Scale (Pedi-FABS) were employed in 5 (6%) recent studies. Conclusions: There is variability across studies in the metrics used to assess clinical outcomes following ACL reconstruction in children and adolescents. Validated pediatric-specific instruments were used infrequently. Clinical Relevance: A large body of existing pediatric ACL-reconstruction literature relies on a variable set of outcome measures that have not been developed or validated for children and adolescents. More recently, contemporary studies have begun to employ pediatric- and adolescent-specific validated measures, yet their use remains uncommon.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e417-e428
JournalArthroscopy, Sports Medicine, and Rehabilitation
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2020


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