Assessment of functional performance after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction: a systematic review of measurement procedures

Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc. 2013 Apr;21(4):869-79. doi: 10.1007/s00167-012-2030-6. Epub 2012 May 12.


Purpose: The purpose of this systematic review was to identify the measurements that are used in clinical practice to assess the quantity and quality of functional performance in men and women more than 2 years after ACL reconstruction with bone patellar-tendon bone (BPTB) or semitendinosus/gracilis (STG) graft.

Methods: A systematic literature search was performed in Medline (Pubmed), EMBASE (OVID), the Cochrane Library and PEDro to identify relevant articles from 1990 up to 2010. Articles were included if they described functional performance after BPTB or STG reconstruction and had a follow-up of more than 2 years. Two authors screened the selected articles for title, abstract and full-text in accordance with predefined inclusion and exclusion criteria. The methodological quality of all articles was assessed by checklists of the Cochrane Library by two authors. Only the articles with good methodological quality were considered for further analysis.

Results: A total of 27 studies were included by full-text. According to their methodological quality six were rated as good. Different authors used different study designs for muscle testing which led to different outcomes that could not be compared. Besides strength, a single-leg hop for distance was used as a measurement for quantity of functional performance. No measurements for quality of functional performance were reported.

Conclusions: Measurement of functional performance more than 2 years after ACL reconstruction consists of concentric or isometric strength, the single-leg hop for distance or a combination. The Limb Symmetry Index is used as the main outcome parameter to compare the involved leg with the uninvolved. In all studies the results of men and woman are combined. Based on our findings and previous studies that discussed additional important parameters a more extensive test battery to assess functional performance is suggested.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction*
  • Bone-Patellar Tendon-Bone Grafting
  • Exercise Test
  • Humans
  • Muscle Strength / physiology
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care / methods*
  • Tendons / transplantation