Which criteria are used to clear patients to return to sport after primary ACL reconstruction? A scoping review.

Journal Article (Journal Article;Systematic Review)

OBJECTIVE: To describe the criteria used to clear athletes to return to sport (RTS) following primary ACL reconstruction. DESIGN: Scoping review. DATA SOURCES: MEDLINE, Embase, CINAHL and SPORTDiscus electronic databases were searched using keywords related to ACL and RTS. ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA: Prospective or retrospective studies reporting at least one RTS criterion for athletes who had primary ACL reconstruction with an autograft. RESULTS: In total, 209 studies fulfilled the inclusion criteria. RTS criteria were categorised into six domains: time, strength, hop testing, clinical examination, patient-report and performance-based criteria. From the 209 included studies, time was used in 178 studies (85%), and in 88 studies (42%) was the sole RTS criterion. Strength tests were reported in 86 studies (41%). Sixteen different hop tests were used in 31 studies (15%). Clinical examination was used in 54 studies (26%), patient report in 26 studies (12%) and performance-based criteria in 41 studies (20%). SUMMARY: Time and impairment-based measures dominated RTS criteria, despite sport being a complex physical and biopsychosocial activity with demands across all aspects of function. Time was included as a criterion in 85% of studies, and over 80% of studies allowed RTS before 9 months. Whether RTS tests are valid-do they predict successful RTS?-is largely unknown.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Burgi, CR; Peters, S; Ardern, CL; Magill, JR; Gomez, CD; Sylvain, J; Reiman, MP

Published Date

  • September 2019

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 53 / 18

Start / End Page

  • 1154 - 1161

PubMed ID

  • 30712009

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1473-0480

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1136/bjsports-2018-099982


  • eng

Conference Location

  • England