Purpose: To identify predictors for additional anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction.
Methods: Patients from the Swedish national ACL register who underwent ACL reconstruction between January 2005 and February 2013 (follow-up duration 6-104 months) were included. Cox regression analyses included the following independent variables regarding primary injury: age, sex, time between injury and primary ACL reconstruction, activity at primary injury, concomitant injuries, injury side, graft type, and pre-surgery KOOS and EQ-5D scores.
Results: Among ACL reconstruction procedures, 93% involved hamstring tendon (HT) autografts. Graft type did not predict additional ACL reconstruction. Final regression models only included patients with HT autograft (n = 20,824). Of these, 702 had revision and 591 contralateral ACL reconstructions. The 5-year post-operative rates of revision and contralateral ACL reconstruction were 4.3 and 3.8%, respectively. Significant predictors for additional ACL reconstruction were age (fourfold increased rate for <16-year-old patients vs. >35-year-old patients), time between injury and primary surgery (two to threefold increased rate for ACL reconstruction within 0-90 days vs. >365 days), and playing football at primary injury.
Conclusion: This study identified younger age, having ACL reconstruction early after the primary injury, and incurring the primary injury while playing football as the main predictors for revision and contralateral ACL reconstruction. This suggests that the rate of additional ACL reconstruction is increased in a selected group of young patients aiming to return to strenuous sports after primary surgery and should be taken into consideration when discussing primary ACL reconstruction, return to sports, and during post-surgery rehabilitation.
Level of evidence: II.
Keywords: ACL reconstruction registry; Contralateral; Cox regression analyses; Ligament registry; Revision; Subsequent injury.