WEDNESDAY, May 19, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Confident, young athletes at the time of return to sport (RTS) after anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction are more likely to sustain a second ACL injury, according to a study published online April 30 in the Journal of Orthopaedic Research.

Mark V. Paterno, P.T., Ph.D., from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, and colleagues assessed the impact of high knee-related confidence at the time of RTS following ACL reconstruction and its impact on the risk for a second ACL injury over 24 months. The analysis included 159 participants (112 female patients; mean age, 17.2 years).

The researchers found that at RTS, 37.7 percent of athletes were classified with high knee-related confidence, 26.4 percent met RTS criteria, and 22.0 percent sustained a second ACL injury after RTS. Confident participants were more likely to meet all RTS criteria and were more than two times as likely to suffer a second ACL injury (odds ratio, 2.40). Participants who were both confident and met all RTS criteria were nearly 10 times more likely to suffer a second ACL injury (odds ratio, 9.6) compared with patients who passed all RTS criteria but lacked knee-related confidence.

“Future work must consider how the inclusion of additional factors into RTS criteria may better identify those at high risk for poor outcome after ACL reconstruction,” the authors write.

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