Return to sports and re-rupture rate following anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction in amateur sportsman: long-term outcomes

Claudio Legnani, Giuseppe Peretti, Matteo Del Re, Enrico Borgo, Alberto Ventura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: The aim of this study was to retrospectively evaluate patient satisfaction, the return-to-sport rate and activity level at a long-term follow-up in a large cohort of amateur sportsmen who underwent primary ACL reconstruction.

METHODS: A total of 218 patients who underwent primary ACL reconstruction between 2004 and 2011, were successfully recontacted and retrospectively reviewed at an average follow-up of 10.5 years (range, 7 to 14 years). All surgeries were performed by one single surgeon. All of them underwent primary ACL reconstruction with autogenous hamstring tendon grafts. Assessment included Knee Osteoarthritis Outcome Score (KOOS) score, International Knee Documentation Committee (IKDC) Subjective Knee Form, Tegner activity level. Patients were also asked what kind of injury they sustained (either direct or indirect trauma), what kind of sport they were performing when they got injured, at what time they did return to sports and which sport they practised before and after surgery.

RESULTS: Fourteen patients underwent re-rupture. In 11 cases, this was due to a new trauma occurring at an average time of 22.9 (SD 23.8) months following primary surgery. In 3 cases rupture occurred during rehabilitation period. Mean postoperative KOOS score was 88.5 (SD 8.5), while mean IKDC subjective score was 87.5 (SD 10.9). At the time of follow- up, most patients (214 subjects, 98%) were participating in sport. 156 subjects returned to pre-injury level (71.6%).

CONCLUSIONS: The study reported long-term favourable subjective outcomes in amateur sportsman following ACL reconstruction, with a low re-rupture rate and a high percentage of subjects (93.6%) returning to sports participation 12 months after surgery. Most patients (71.6%) were able to return to their preprimary level of activity and sport. Younger age at the time of ACL reconstruction positively affected return to sports; however, younger patients were significantly more likely than older patients to undergo re-rupture.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1902-1907
Number of pages6
JournalThe Journal of sports medicine and physical fitness
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2019


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