Greater fear of re-injury and increased tibial translation in patients who later sustain an ACL graft rupture or a contralateral ACL rupture: a pilot study

J Sports Sci. 2016;34(2):125-32. doi: 10.1080/02640414.2015.1035668. Epub 2015 Apr 20.


The aim was to compare fear of re-injury, patient reported function, static and dynamic tibial translation and muscle strength assessed before and 5 weeks after an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction between individuals who sustained a subsequent ACL graft rupture or a contralateral ACL injury within 5 years after the reconstruction, and individuals with no subsequent injury. Nineteen patients were investigated before, and 5 weeks after an ACL reconstruction with a quadruple hamstring tendon graft. At 5 years follow up, 3 patients had sustained an ACL graft rupture and 2 patients had sustained a contralateral ACL rupture. Fear of re-injury, confidence with the knee, patient reported function, activity level, static and dynamic tibial translation and muscle strength were assessed. The re-injured group reported greater fear of re-injury and had greater static tibial translation in both knees before the ACL reconstruction compared to those who did not sustain another ACL injury. There were no other differences between groups. In conclusion, fear of re-injury and static tibial translation before the index ACL reconstruction were greater in patients who later on suffered an ACL graft rupture or a contralateral ACL rupture. These factors may predict a subsequent ACL injury.

Keywords: ACL reconstruction; fear of re-injury; graft rupture; subsequent ACL injury; tibial translation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament / surgery*
  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injuries*
  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction / psychology*
  • Fear*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Knee Injuries / physiopathology*
  • Knee Injuries / psychology
  • Knee Injuries / surgery*
  • Male
  • Muscle Strength
  • Pilot Projects
  • Recurrence
  • Rupture / physiopathology
  • Rupture / surgery
  • Self Report
  • Tibia / physiopathology*
  • Young Adult