Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Physical Therapy (MPT)


Physical Therapy

First Advisor

Beverly Johnson


Anterior Cruciate Ligament -- surgery; Treatment Outcome


It is established in the literature that primary repair of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) deficient knee is achieved through means of reconstructive surgery. However, with continuing advances in both the surgical technique performed and, consequently, the rehabilitation program implemented following reconstruction, the need for ongoing research becomes essential in evaluating the long-term effectiveness of such changes. Currently, the longterm follow-up studies available on ACL reconstructive surgery report information through means of clinical evaluation and objective testing measures with little or no emphasis on the value of the patient's subjective responses. The purpose of this study is to determine the subjective functional knee outcomes obtained from a group of patients following ACL reconstruction and to demonstrate that subjective information is an essential component in predicting patient satisfaction and overall functional level. The methodology entailed contact of 325 patients who underwent bone-patellar tendon-bone autograft reconstructive surgery by mail through the use of a questionnaire form. A total of 90 subjects (n=90, 46 males and 44 females) with ages ranging from 18 to 52 years ~=28.79) were used in the data collection and statistical analysis. The results indicated that the three most predictive factors of the overall functional knee outcome reported subjectively by the patient include stability of the knee, stair climbing, and the occurrence of swelling. A postoperative data summary of the patients' activity level following surgery revealed that there was a 47% return to a preinjury activity level or better. Significant variable associations were also found between the ability to predict the functional outcome of the knee and the type of surgical procedures performed. Further analysis of the subjective information obtained in this study suggests that subjective questioning of the patient is a valuable component which can be used in predicting patient satisfaction and the overall functional level of the knee following ACL reconstructive surgery.