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Eighty-three per cent of elite athletes return to preinjury sport after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction: a systematic review with meta-analysis of return to sport rates, graft rupture rates and performance outcomes

Objectives The primary objective was to calculate the rate of return to sport (RTS) following anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction in elite athletes. Secondary objectives were to estimate the time taken to RTS, calculate rates of ACL graft rupture, evaluate postsurgical athletic performance and identify determinants of RTS. Design Pooled RTS and graft rupture rates were calculated using random effects proportion meta-analysis. Time to RTS, performance data and determinants of RTS were synthesised descriptively. Data sources MEDLINE, EMBASE, AMED, CINAHL, AMI, PEDro, SPORTDiscus and The Cochrane Library were searched from inception to 19 January 2016. Hand searching of 10 sports medicine journals and reference checking were also performed. Eligibility criteria for selecting studies Studies were included if they reported the ratio of elite athletes who returned to their preinjury level of sport following ACL reconstruction. Twenty-four studies were included. results The pooled RTS rate was 83% (95% CI 77% to 88%). The mean time to RTS ranged from 6 to 13 months. The pooled graft rupture rate was 5.2% (95% CI 2.8% to 8.3%). Six out of nine studies that included a noninjured control group found no significant deterioration in athletic performance following ACL reconstruction. Indicators of greater athletic skill or value to the team were associated with RTS. summary and conclusions Eighty-three per cent of elite athletes returned to sport following ACL reconstruction, while 5.2% sustained a graft rupture. Most athletes who returned to sport performed comparably with matched, uninjured controls. This information may assist in guiding expectations of athletes and clinicians following ACL reconstruction.

History

Publication Date

01/01/2018

Journal

British Journal of Sports Medicine

Volume

52

Issue

2

Pagination

11p. (p. 128-138)

Publisher

BMJ Publishing Group

ISSN

0306-3674

Rights Statement

The Author reserves all moral rights over the deposited text and must be credited if any re-use occurs. Documents deposited in OPAL are the Open Access versions of outputs published elsewhere. Changes resulting from the publishing process may therefore not be reflected in this document. The final published version may be obtained via the publisher’s DOI. Please note that additional copyright and access restrictions may apply to the published version.