AIM: Identify injury-related, patient-reported and treatment-related prognostic factors for 5-year outcomes in acutely ACL-ruptured individuals managed with early reconstruction plus exercise therapy, exercise therapy plus delayed reconstruction or exercise therapy alone.
METHODS: Exploratory analysis of the Knee Anterior Cruciate Ligament, Nonsurgical versus Surgical Treatment (KANON) trial (ISRCTN84752559). Relationships between prognostic factors (baseline cartilage, meniscus and osteochondral damage, baseline extension deficit, baseline patient-reported outcomes, number of rehabilitation visits, graft/contralateral ACL rupture, non-ACL surgery and ACL treatment strategy) and 5-year Knee Injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score (KOOS) pain, symptoms, sport/recreation and quality of life (QOL) scores were explored using multivariable linear regression. Estimates were adjusted for sex, age, body mass index, preinjury activity level, education and smoking.
RESULTS: For all participants (n=118), graft/contralateral ACL rupture, non-ACL surgery and worse baseline 36-item Short-Form Mental Component Scores were associated with worse outcomes. Treatment with exercise therapy alone was a prognostic factor for less knee symptoms compared with early reconstruction plus exercise therapy (regression coefficient 10.1, 95% CI 2.3 to 17.9). Baseline meniscus lesion was associated with worse sport/recreation function (-14.4, 95% CI -27.6 to -1.3) and osteochondral lesions were associated with worse QOL (-12.3, 95% CI -24.3 to -0.4) following early reconstruction plus exercise therapy. In the same group, undergoing additional non-ACL surgery and worse baseline KOOS scores were prognostic for worse outcome on all KOOS subscales. Following delayed reconstruction, baseline meniscus damage was a prognostic factor for less pain (14.3, 95% CI 0.7 to 27.9). Following exercise therapy alone, undergoing non-ACL surgery was prognostic for worse pain.
CONCLUSIONS: Treatment-dependent differences in prognostic factors for 5-year outcomes may support individualised treatment after acute ACL rupture in young active individuals.
TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN84752559.