Anterior cruciate ligament injury and reconstruction among university students

Clin Orthop Relat Res. 1998 Nov;(356):208-12. doi: 10.1097/00003086-199811000-00028.


The consequences of athletic injuries extend beyond the musculoskeletal system. Depression, anger, and tension have been observed in athletes with athletic injuries. It was hypothesized that among student athletes, the psychologic impact of injury may be seen as a drop in academic performance. Thirty-eight students who had an anterior cruciate ligament injury and subsequent reconstruction were evaluated retrospectively by academic transcript and questionnaire to measure their academic performance before their injury, in the semester of their injury, and in the semester after their surgery. The patients were compared with randomly selected undergraduate control subjects. To evaluate any effect of the timing of the surgery on academic performance, the patients were separated into two groups, according to the timing of their reconstruction: those who had surgery during the academic semester, and those who elected to wait for a school break. There was a significant drop in grade point average of 0.3 grade points during the semester of injury among all injured students. Compared with those who had surgery during a break, the students who had surgery during the semester received more frequently the grade of failure (6% versus 0%) or incomplete (33% versus 9%). These students also missed more school days (10.5 days versus 1.5 days) and examinations (2.2 examinations versus 0.1 examinations). Only 47% of students who had surgery during the semester were satisfied with their decision for surgical timing, compared with 96% satisfied with the timing during an academic break. Acute anterior cruciate ligament rupture, and surgical reconstruction during an academic semester, have a significant academic effect in university students.

MeSH terms

  • Achievement*
  • Adult
  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament / surgery*
  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injuries*
  • Athletic Injuries / psychology
  • Athletic Injuries / surgery*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Students / psychology*
  • Time Factors