Precollegiate Knee Surgery Predicts Subsequent Injury Requiring Surgery in NCAA Athletes
Pamela Sulzicki is an adjunct instructor of Athletic Training at Sacred Heart University.
Background: The effect of precollegiate orthopaedic surgery on injury risk in the elite collegiate athlete is unknown. Purpose: To (1) assess the relationship between precollegiate surgery and subsequent injury requiring surgery in National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I athletes at a single institution and (2) compare the risk of subsequent surgery in the ipsilateral versus contralateral extremity in those with a history of precollegiate surgery. Study Design: Cohort study; Level of evidence, 3. Methods: A retrospective chart review was performed of all athletes who began participation from 2003 to 2009 until completion of eligibility. Athletes who received orthopaedic surgery in college were identified through the Sports Injury Monitoring System and were cross-referenced with medical records. The risk of orthopaedic surgery was evaluated using multivariate Cox and Poisson regression models, with sex and sport as additional covariates. Risk of subsequent surgery in the ipsilateral versus contralateral extremity was compared using Kaplan-Meier survival estimates and Cox proportional hazards regression. Hazard ratios (HRs) and rate ratios (RRs) with corresponding 95% confidence intervals were used to compare groups. Results: In total, 1141 athletes were identified for analysis. Of these, 186 athletes (16.3%) had a history of precollegiate orthopaedic surgery. There were 261 documented intracollegiate orthopaedic surgeries in 181 athletes (15.9%). Precollegiate knee surgery was an independent predictor of orthopaedic surgery (HR, 1.85; 95% CI, 1.16-2.83) in college. When examining only surgeries resulting from acute or primary injuries, precollegiate knee surgery was an independent predictor of primary knee injury requiring surgery in college (HR, 4.45; 95% CI, 2.51-7.59). Athletes with a history of precollegiate surgery were more susceptible to subsequent surgery in their ipsilateral extremity compared with their other extremities (HR, 1.89; 95% CI, 1.03-3.53). In contrast, there was no additional risk of receiving subsequent surgery in the contralateral extremity (P = .54). Conclusions: Precollegiate knee surgery in the Division I athlete is associated with subsequent injury requiring surgery in college. Athletes with a history of precollegiate surgery are at higher risk of subsequent surgery in their ipsilateral extremity compared with other extremities.