Orthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine
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© The Author(s) 2020. A stringent outcome assessment is a key aspect of establishing evidence-based clinical guidelines for anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury treatment. To establish a standardized assessment of clinical outcome after ACL treatment, a consensus meeting including a multidisciplinary group of ACL experts was held at the ACL Consensus Meeting Panther Symposium, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA, in June 2019. The aim was to establish a consensus on what data should be reported when conducting an ACL outcome study, what specific outcome measurements should be used, and at what follow-up time those outcomes should be assessed. The group reached consensus on 9 statements by using a modified Delphi method. In general, outcomes after ACL treatment can be divided into 4 robust categories: early adverse events, patient-reported outcomes (PROs), ACL graft failure/recurrent ligament disruption, and clinical measures of knee function and structure. A comprehensive assessment after ACL treatment should aim to provide a complete overview of the treatment result, optimally including the various aspects of outcome categories. For most research questions, a minimum follow-up of 2 years with an optimal follow-up rate of 80% is necessary to achieve a comprehensive assessment. This should include clinical examination, any sustained reinjuries, validated knee-specific PROs, and health-related quality of life questionnaires. In the midterm to long-term follow-up, the presence of osteoarthritis should be evaluated. This consensus paper provides practical guidelines for how the aforementioned entities of outcomes should be reported and suggests the preferred tools for a reliable and valid assessment of outcome after ACL treatment.
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