UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Knee Injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score (KOOS) Responder Criteria and Minimal Detectable Change 3–12 Years Following a Youth Sport-Related Knee Injury Toomey, Clodagh M.; Whittaker, Jackie L.; Palacios-Derflingher, Luz; Emery, Carolyn A.


The applicability of thresholds that constitute an acceptable score or meaningful change on the Knee injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score (KOOS) in cohorts ≥ 5 years following knee injury is not well understood. The primary objective of this study was to evaluate the association between intra-articular knee injury type and two different KOOS pain thresholds (patient acceptable symptom state (PASS) and Englund symptomatic knee criteria) in the Alberta Youth Prevention of Osteoarthritis (PrE-OA) cohort, which includes participants 3–12 years following a youth sport-related knee injury and uninjured controls with similar age, sex and sport characteristics. Analyses accounted for sex, time since injury and the interaction between time since injury and injury type. Secondary objectives were to report proportions meeting thresholds for KOOS outcomes and minimal detectable change (MDC) from published test–retest reliability data, over a 1–4-year follow-up. Two hundred and fifty-three (253) participants (124 injured, 129 controls) were included in analyses, of which 153 (77 injured, 76 controls) had follow-up data. Similar odds were observed for presence of pain (below PASS threshold) in participants with anterior cruciate ligament (ACL)/meniscus injury (odds ratio (OR) 4.2 (97.5% confidence interval (CI): 1.8, 9.9)) and other knee injuries (OR 4.9 (97.5% CI: 1.2, 21.0)), while there were higher odds for presence of Englund “symptomatic knee” criteria in participants with ACL/meniscus injury (OR 13.6 (97.5% CI: 2.9, 63.4)) than other knee injuries (OR 7.3 (97.5% CI: 0.8, 63.7)) compared to controls. After a median 23.4 (8 to 42) month follow-up, 35% of previously injured participants had at least one KOOS sub-scale score that worsened by more than the MDC published threshold. Despite limited research, this study shows that individuals with youth sport knee injuries other than ACL or meniscus injury may also experience significant pain and symptoms 3–12 years following injury. Replication and further follow-up are needed to identify a possible clinical trajectory towards osteoarthritis.

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