Performance in field-tests and dynamic knee valgus in soccer players psychologically ready and not ready to return to sports after ACL reconstruction

Ricardo V. Correa, Evert Verhagen, Renan A. Resende, Juliana M. Ocarino*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background: The objective was to compare the performance in field tests, dynamic knee valgus, knee function, and kinesiophobia of soccer players who were psychologically ready and not ready to return to unrestricted training or competitions after ACL reconstruction. Methods: Thirty-five male soccer players who had undergone primary ACL reconstruction at least 6 months were divided based on the Anterior Cruciate Ligament Return to Sport after Injury (ACL-RSI) questionnaire score into ready (≥60) and not-ready (<60) groups. The modified Illinois change of direction test (MICODT) and reactive agility test (RAT) were used to impose the demand for directional change and reactive decision-making. We assessed the frontal plane knee projection angle (FPKPA) during a single-leg squat and distance in crossover hop test (CHD). In addition, we assessed kinesiophobia through the shortened version of the Tampa Scale of Kinesiophobia (TSK-11) and knee function using the International Knee Documentation Committee Subjective Knee Form (IKDC). Independent t-tests were used to compare the groups. Results: The not-ready group had lower performance on the MICODT (effect size (ES) = −1.2; p < 0.001) and RAT (ES = −1.1; p = 0.004) tests and higher FPKPA (ES = 1.5; p < 0.001). In addition, they presented lower IKDC (ES = 3.1; p < 0.001) and higher TSK-11 (ES = −3.3; p < 0.001) scores. Conclusions: Physical and psychological deficits may persist in some individuals after rehabilitation. On-field tests and dynamic knee alignment evaluation should be included in the athlete evaluation before the decision-making about clearance to sports participation, especially in athletes who perceive themselves as psychologically not ready.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)297-303
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2023

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