Background: In 1982, the Lysholm score was first published as a physician-administered score in the American Journal of Sports Medicine. The Tegner activity scale was published in 1985.
Hypothesis: The Lysholm and Tegner scores are valid as patient-administered scores and responsive at early time points after treatment of anterior cruciate ligament tears.
Study design: Cohort study (Diagnosis); Level of evidence, 1.
Methods: All patients were treated for an anterior cruciate ligament tear. For responsiveness, the Lysholm score (n = 1075) and Tegner activity level (n = 505) were measured preoperatively and 6, 9, 12, and 24 months postoperatively. For test-retest (n = 50), scores were measured at 2 years postoperatively and again within 4 weeks by questionnaire. For criterion validity (n = 170), patients completed the Short Form-12 and the International Knee Documentation Committee score in addition to Lysholm and Tegner instruments. For all other analyses, preoperative Lysholm score (n = 1783) or Tegner activity levels (n = 687) were collected.
Results: There was acceptable test-retest reliability for both the Lysholm (intraclass correlation coefficient = 0.9) and Tegner (intraclass correlation coefficient = 0.8) scores. The minimum detectable change for Lysholm was 8.9 and for Tegner was 1. The Lysholm demonstrated acceptable internal consistency. The Lysholm correlated with the International Knee Documentation Committee (r = .8) and the Short Form-12 (r = .4), and Tegner correlated with the Short Form-12 (r = .2). Both scores had acceptable floor and ceiling effects and all hypotheses were significant. The Lysholm and Tegner were responsive to change at each of the time points.
Conclusion: After 25 years of changes in treatment of anterior cruciate ligament injuries, the Lysholm knee score and the Tegner activity scale demonstrated acceptable psychometric parameters as patient-administered scores and showed acceptable responsiveness to be used in early return to function after anterior cruciate ligament treatment.