Development of a return to play checklist following patellar instability surgery: a Delphi-based consensus
To date, there is no consensus for the appropriate timing or functional evaluation for safe return to play following patellar instability surgery. The purpose of this study is to develop a consensus-based return to play checklist following patellar stabilization surgery using the Delphi method.
A 3-part survey series was conducted following the systematic guidelines of the Delphi technique for gathering consensus from experts in the management of patellofemoral instability. All surveys were completed between July and November of 2017. A literature search was performed in SCOPUS and PubMed to identify existing sources on return to play following patellar instability surgery and determining patellofemoral joint strength in athletes, which served as the basis for the surveys.
12 of the 19 selected participants (63%) completed the first-round survey, 11 of those 12 participants (92%) completed the second-round survey, and 10 of these 11 participants (91%) completed the final survey. Of the final ten participants, there was representation from seven different states in the USA. Nine of the ten (90%) respondents endorsed the final checklist. The final checklist included eight overarching domains with defined and reproducible objective criteria.
The standardized list of objective and reproducible criteria for rehabilitation outlined below should help practitioners focus more on patient-centred factors and less on arbitrary timelines. No prior study has gathered consensus from experts on this topic; therefore, this study should serve as a benchmark to help guide patients back to sport safely.
Level of evidence
KeywordsReturn to play Patellofemoral instability surgery Checklist
Funding was not acquired for this study.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
Each author certifies that he or she has no commercial associations (e.g. consultancies, stock ownership, equity interest, patent/licensing arrangements) that might pose a conflict of interest in connection with the submitted article.
IRB approval was not required for this study.
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