BACKGROUND: Psychological response to injury and the recovery process impact return to play and can put an athlete at risk for prolonged recovery. The purpose of this study was to investigate the psychological changes that occur surrounding an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction utilizing a set of patient reported outcomes measures (PROMs) that focus on psychological factors. METHODS: Consecutive patients undergoing a primary ACL reconstruction, ages 12 to 18, were recruited. Patients were included if they verbalized a desire to return to the same sport and a baseline Tegner of >6. Functional and psychological PROMs were administered preoperatively, 6 months, and 1 year postoperatively. A Y-Balance Test was utilized to assess for clearance. RESULTS: Of the 68 participants, 36 were female (52.9%) and 32 male, with a mean age of 14.5 years. On average, participants were cleared to return to sport 259.1 days postoperatively. Of the measures given preoperatively, only the Athletic Coping Skills Inventory-28 (ACSI)-28 correlated with delayed recovery time (rs=-0.291, P=0.04). Lower baseline ACSI-28 subscale scores in coachability (rs=-0.298, P=0.03) and Coping with Adversity (rs=-0.341, P=0.01) were correlated with delayed recovery. Participants that took longer than average to recover scored significantly lower on the ACSI-28 preoperatively than those with a shorter recovery time (62.04 vs. 54.8, P<0.01). Participants that scored <58 on their preoperative ACSI-28 took 2 months longer to recover than participants who scored ≥58 (9.6 vs. 7.65 mo, P<0.01). At 6 months postoperatively, higher ACSI-28 subscale Concentration (rs=-0.357, P<0.01) and Peaking Under Pressure (rs=-0.274, P=0.04) scores correlated with shorter recovery time. CONCLUSIONS: The ACSI-28 significantly correlated with recovery time following ACL reconstruction. A baseline score of 58 may be a valuable cutoff to identify youth athletes at risk for prolonged recovery. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Level II-prospective study.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine