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Impact of Occupation on 12-Month Outcomes After Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction in Male Patients

journal contribution
posted on 2023-04-05, 04:54 authored by JC Kirby, TS Whitehead, KE Webster, Julian Feller, JA McClelland, HJ Klemm, BM Devitt
Background: The impact of a physically demanding occupation on clinical outcomes after anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction (ACLR) is largely unknown. Purpose/Hypothesis: The purpose of this study was to assess the influence of occupation on 12-month outcomes after ACLR in male patients. It was hypothesized that patients undertaking manual work would not only have better functional outcomes in terms of strength and range of motion but also higher rates of joint effusion and greater anterior knee laxity. Study Design: Cohort study; Level of evidence, 3. Methods: From an initial cohort of 1829 patients, we identified 372 eligible patients aged 18 to 30 years who underwent primary ACLR between 2014 and 2017. Based on a preoperative self-assessment, 2 groups were established: patients engaged in heavy manual occupations and those engaged in low-impact occupations. Data were collected from a prospective database including effusion, knee range of motion (using side-to-side difference), anterior knee laxity, limb symmetry index for single hop and triple hop, International Knee Documentation Committee (IKDC) subjective score, and complications up to 12 months. Because of the significantly lower rate of female patients undertaking heavy manual occupations compared to low-impact occupations (12.5% and 40.0%, respectively), data analysis was focused on male patients. Outcome variables were assessed for normality, and statistical comparisons were made between the heavy manual and low-impact groups using either an independent-samples t test or the Mann-Whitney U test. Results: Of 230 male patients, 98 were included in the heavy manual occupation group, and 132 were included in the low-impact occupation group. Patients in the heavy manual occupation group were significantly younger than those in the low-impact occupation group (mean age, 24.1 vs 25.9 years, respectively; P <.005). There was a greater range of active and passive knee flexion in the heavy manual occupation group than in the low-impact occupation group (mean active, 3.38° vs 5.33°, respectively [P =.021]; mean passive, 2.76° vs 5.00°, respectively [P =.005]). There was no difference in effusion, anterior knee laxity, limb symmetry index, IKDC score, return-to-sport rate, or graft rupture rate at 12 months. Conclusion: At 12 months after primary ACLR, male patients engaged in heavy manual occupations had a greater range of knee flexion, with no difference in the effusion rate or anterior knee laxity, compared with those engaged in low-impact occupations.



Orthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine






United States










Sage Publications