Physical prognostic factors predicting outcome following anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction: Protocol for a systematic review

Andrew Middlebrook, Sheree Bekker, Nicola Middlebrook, Alison B. Rushton

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Citations (SciVal)


Introduction Injuries of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) are a common musculoskeletal complication and can cause significant reduction in patient function and quality of life. Many undergo ACL reconstruction, with high-quality rehabilitation key to successful outcome. Knowledge of physical prognostic factors, such as quadriceps strength, is crucial to inform rehabilitation and has important implications for outcome following ACL reconstruction. However, these factors predicting outcome are poorly defined. Therefore, the aim of this systematic review is to establish physical prognostic factors predictive of outcome in adults following ACL reconstruction. Outcome will be subdivided into two groups of outcome measures, patient-reported and performance-based. Physical prognostic factors of interest will reflect a range of domains and may be modifiable/non-modifiable. Results will help decide most appropriate management and assist in planning and tailoring preoperative and postoperative rehabilitation. Methods and analysis This systematic review protocol is reported according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis Protocols. MEDLINE, CINAHL and EMBASE databases, key journals and grey literature will be searched from inception to July 2019. Prospective cohort studies including participants aged ≥16 years who have undergone ACL reconstruction will be included, with articles focusing on multi-ligament reconstructions and ACL repair surgery, or not published in English excluded. Two independent reviewers will conduct searches, assess study eligibility, extract data, assess risk of bias (Quality in Prognostic Studies tool) and quantify overall quality of evidence (modified Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluation guidelines). If possible, a meta-analysis will be conducted, otherwise a narrative synthesis will ensue focusing on prognostic factors, risk of bias of included studies and strength of association with outcomes. Ethics and dissemination Findings will be published in a peer-reviewed journal, presented at conferences and locally to physiotherapy departments. Ethical approval is not required for this systematic review. PROSPERO registration number CRD42019127732.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere033429
JournalBMJ Open
Issue number3
Early online date25 Mar 2020
Publication statusPublished - 31 Mar 2020


  • anterior cruciate ligament
  • injury
  • outcomes
  • prognostic factors
  • systematic review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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