The use of the Tegner Activity Scale for articular cartilage repair of the knee: a systematic review

Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc. 2011 Apr;19(4):604-14. doi: 10.1007/s00167-010-1301-3. Epub 2010 Nov 13.


Purpose: The Tegner Activity Scale (TAS) was developed in 1984 and has been widely used in studies on knee populations. The primary objective of this study was to undertake a systematic review on the use of the TAS for articular cartilage repair (ACR) of the knee.

Methods: A systematic review was conducted using electronic databases (MEDLINE, CINAHL, SPORTDiscus™, NHS Evidence, ISI Web of Knowledge, AMED, BNI, PEDro and The Cochrane Collaboration of Systematic Reviews) and reference lists from extracted articles. Studies were selected that were published between 1984 and 2009 in which the TAS was reported for patients who had undergone ACR of the knee.

Results: The search strategy identified 442 citations of which 34 articles met the inclusion criteria. There was a large degree of study heterogeneity especially regarding data reporting a wide variation in the number of participants (range 5-137), participant age (range 12-76 years), follow-up time (range 3-120 months) and male-to-female participant ratio. Where pre- to postoperative TAS change was analysed, 88% of studies demonstrated a significant improvement in postoperative TAS scores.

Conclusions: In general, TAS data were inconsistently reported and methodological detail was often lacking. Caution is advised in the interpretation of TAS scores following ACR of the knee where there are large ranges in postoperative follow-up times, mixed gender cohorts and wide ranges in participant ages. TAS data should be presented and analysed fully and ideally in a standardised fashion to facilitate the comparison of outcomes between studies.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cartilage, Articular / injuries
  • Cartilage, Articular / surgery*
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Knee Injuries / diagnostic imaging
  • Knee Injuries / surgery
  • Knee Joint / physiopathology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motor Activity*
  • Orthopedic Procedures / methods
  • Postoperative Care
  • Prognosis
  • Radiography
  • Range of Motion, Articular / physiology*
  • Reconstructive Surgical Procedures / adverse effects
  • Reconstructive Surgical Procedures / methods*
  • Recovery of Function
  • Young Adult