The 6-m Timed Hop Is Not a Suitable Clinical Assessment Tool for Use Following Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction

in Journal of Sport Rehabilitation
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Context: Single-leg hop tests are used to assess functional performance following anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction. Recording 6-m timed hop scores using a stopwatch increases the potential for misclassification of patient status due to the number of error sources present. Objective: To examine the consistency of pass/fail (>90% limb symmetry index [LSI]) decisions in athletes tested at discharge following ACL reconstruction during the 6-m timed hop and the agreement between different human raters using a stopwatch and an electronic timing system. Setting: Clinic, rehabilitation. Participants: A total of 20 professional soccer players (age 24.6 [4.2] y; height 175.3 [10.2] cm; mass 73.6 [14.5] kg; 36 [10.5] wk following ACL reconstruction) volunteered to take part in this study. Main Outcome Measures: Two individual raters recorded each trial of the 6-m timed hop test on each limb with a stopwatch and an electronic timing system acted as the criterion measure. LSI scores were also computed with a pass score >90% LSI. Results: No significant differences were observed between limbs for any scoring method (P > .05). Mean differences indicated the electronic timing system was slower than both human raters (P < .05). Five participants failed the test (<90% LSI) but on each occasion this was only recorded by one method of rating. Kappa statistics showed no agreement in LSI scores across all 3 methods of scoring (κ = −.13) and no agreement when comparing the light gates to individual raters and rater 1 versus 2 (κ < 0). 95% limits of agreement in LSI scores recorded values of approximately ±20%. Conclusions: The 6-m timed hop test recorded using a stopwatch is not a valid measure to make clinical decisions following ACL reconstruction. Systematic bias between methods also suggests that a stopwatch and electronic timing system cannot be used interchangeably.

Read and Palli are with Athlete Health and Performance Research Centre, Aspetar Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Hospital, Doha, Qatar. Read is also with the Institute of Sport Exercise and Health (ISEH), University College London, London, UK; and the School of Sport and Exercise, University of Gloucestershire, Gloucester, UK. Oliver is with the Youth Physical Development Centre, School of Sport and Health Sciences, Cardiff Metropolitan University, Cardiff, UK; and the Sport Performance Research Institute, New Zealand (SPRINZ), AUT University, Auckland, New Zealand.

Read (paul.read@hcahealthcare.co.uk) is corresponding author.
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