Objective: To document the changes in self-reported health-related quality of life and knee function in a cohort of young female athletes who have sustained a knee injury.
Design: Prospective cohort.
Setting: An outpatient sports medicine clinic and university student health service.
Participants: A convenience sample of 255 females (age = 17.4 ± 2.4 years) who injured their knee participating in sport or recreational activities. Injuries were categorized as anterior cruciate ligament tears, anterior knee pain, patellar instability, meniscus tear, collateral ligament sprain, and other.
Interventions: Knee function was assessed with the 2000 International Knee Documentation Committee (IKDC) knee survey. Health-related quality of life was assessed with the SF-12 version 2.0 (acute) survey (SF-12).
Main outcome measures: Dependent variables included the paired differences in the 2000 IKDC and SF-12 subscales, and composite scores from preinjury to diagnosis. Paired differences were assessed with paired t tests (P < 0.05) reported as the mean ± SD.
Results: International Knee Documentation Committee scores at diagnosis were significantly lower than preinjury scores (P < 0.001). SF-12 scores were lower (P < 0.001) at diagnosis for each subscale (physical functioning, role physical, bodily pain, general health, vitality, social function, role emotional, and mental health) as well as the physical and mental composite scores.
Conclusions: In addition to negatively affecting knee function, sport medicine providers should be aware that knee injuries can negatively impact the health-related quality of life in these athletes immediately after injury.