Knee function after anterior cruciate ligament injury in elite collegiate athletes

Am J Sports Med. 2003 Jul-Aug;31(4):560-3. doi: 10.1177/03635465030310041401.


Background: Anterior cruciate ligament injuries are common in athletes, but there are few studies of long-term outcomes.

Hypothesis: Long-term knee function of anterior cruciate ligament-injured athletes is inferior to that of their uninjured teammates.

Study design: Retrospective cohort study.

Methods: Thirty-three Division I-A athletes who had sustained an anterior cruciate ligament injury during their college career completed a series of questionnaires that assessed knee function and quality of life 2 to 14 years after injury. Their responses were compared with those of a matched cohort of their uninjured teammates.

Results: There were no differences in the mean Tegner scores, modified Lysholm scores, or in the scores of the SF-36 between groups. Sixteen anterior cruciate ligament-injured athletes scored A or B in the subjective portion of the International Knee Documentation Committee score and 17 scored C or D, whereas 24 control subjects scored A or B and 9 scored C or D, a statistically significant difference between groups. Five injured and 14 control athletes had participated at a professional or national team level after college.

Conclusions: Quality of life of elite collegiate athletes who sustained an anterior cruciate ligament injury was not significantly different from that of their uninjured teammates, but knee function differed between groups.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Controlled Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injuries*
  • Athletic Injuries / rehabilitation*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Knee / physiology
  • Knee / physiopathology*
  • Quality of Life
  • Recovery of Function*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Students
  • Task Performance and Analysis
  • Universities