Background Preoperative knee function is associated with successful postoperative outcome after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction (ACLR). However, there are few longer term studies of patients who underwent progressive preoperative and postoperative rehabilitation compared to usual care.
Objectives To compare preoperative and 2 year postoperative patient-reported outcomes (PROs) in patients undergoing progressive preoperative and postoperative rehabilitation at a sports medicine clinic compared with usual care.
Methods We included patients aged 16–40 years undergoing primary unilateral ACLR. The preoperative and 2 year postoperative Knee Injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score (KOOS) of 84 patients undergoing progressive preoperative and postoperative rehabilitation at a sports medicine clinic (Norwegian Research Center for Active Rehabilitation (NAR) cohort) were compared with the scores of 2690 patients from the Norwegian National Knee Ligament Registry (NKLR). The analyses were adjusted for sex, age, months from injury to surgery and cartilage/meniscus injury at ACLR.
Results The NAR cohort had significantly better preoperative KOOS in all subscales, with clinically relevant differences (>10 points) observed in KOOS Pain, activities of daily living (ADL), Sports and Quality of Life. At 2 years, the NAR cohort still had significantly better KOOS with clinically relevant differences in KOOS Symptoms, Sports and Quality of Life. At 2 years, 85.7–94% of the patients in the NAR cohort scored within the normative range of the different KOOS subscales, compared to 51.4–75.8% of the patients in the NKLR.
Conclusions Patients in a prospective cohort who underwent progressive preoperative and postoperative rehabilitation at a sports medicine clinic showed superior patient-reported outcomes both preoperatively and 2 years postoperatively compared to patients in the NKLR who received usual care.
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