The Impact of Knee Injury History on Health-Related Quality of Life in Adolescent Athletes

in Journal of Sport Rehabilitation
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Context: Current evidence suggests that, despite returning to full participation, physically active adults with a previous knee injury experience lower health-related quality of life (HRQOL) than those with no knee injury history. It is unknown if this relationship is present in adolescent athletes. Objective: To determine the impact of knee injury history on HRQOL in adolescent athletes who were medically cleared for full participation. Design: Cross-sectional. Setting: Athletic training clinics. Participants: A convenience sample of 183 adolescent athletes, who were medically cleared for full participation, were grouped by self-report of a previous knee injury: positive knee injury history (HIS; n = 36, age = 15.7 [1.4] y, height = 168.0 [11.9] cm, and weight = 71.8 [11.9] kg) and no knee injury history (NO-HIS; n = 147, age = 15.5 [1.4] y, height = 166.0 [10.5] cm, and weight = 67.6 [14.6] kg). Interventions: Participants completed the Pediatric International Knee Documentation Committee form and Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory during their preparticipation examination. Main Outcome Measures: Generalized linear models were used to compare group differences for the total and subscale scores of the Pediatric International Knee Documentation Committee and Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory. Results: Main effects of injury group indicated that the HIS group reported significantly lower scores than the NO-HIS group for the Pediatric International Knee Documentation Committee total score (P < .001; HIS = 79.2 [21.7], NO-HIS = 95.8 [8.6]) and for the Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory total (P = .001; HIS = 85.7 [10.9], NO-HIS = 90.9 [7.3]), physical functioning (P = .002; HIS = 86.7 [13.6], NO-HIS = 92.1 [8.2]), school functioning (P = .01; HIS = 80.6 [12.4], NO-HIS = 86.8 [12.2]), and social functioning (P = .01; HIS = 89.3 [12.4], NO-HIS = 94.6 [8.9]) scores. No group differences were reported for the emotional functioning subscale (P = .13; HIS = 85.7 [17.7], NO-HIS = 89.7 [13.1]). No interactions or main effects of sex were reported (P > .05). Conclusions: Our findings suggest that, despite returning to full sport participation, adolescent athletes with a previous knee injury generally experience lower HRQOL than their peers with no knee injury history, specifically for knee-specific HRQOL, physical functioning, school functioning, and social functioning. Our results are similar to previous findings reported in college athletes and military cadets.

The authors are with Athletic Training Programs, Department of Interdisciplinary Health Sciences, A.T. Still University, Mesa, AZ.

Lam (klam@atsu.edu) is corresponding author.
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