ICRS Recommendation Document : Patient-Reported Outcome Instruments for Use in Patients with Articular Cartilage Defects

Objective: The purpose of this article is to describe and recommend patient-reported outcome instruments for use in patients with articular cartilage lesions undergoing cartilage repair interventions. Methods: Nonsystematic literature search identifying measures addressing pain and function evaluated for validity and psychometric properties in patients with articular cartilage lesions. Results: The knee-specific instruments, titled the International Knee Documentation Committee Subjective Knee Form and the Knee injury and Osteoarthritis and Outcome Score, both fulfill the basic requirements for reliability, validity, and responsiveness in cartilage repair patients. A major difference between them is that the former results in a single score and the latter results in 5 subscores. A single score is preferred for simplicity’s sake, whereas subscores allow for evaluation of separate constructs at all levels according to the International Classification of Functioning. Conclusions: Because there is no obvious superiority of either instrument at this time, both outcome measures are recommended for use in cartilage repair. Rescaling of the Lysholm Scoring Scale has been suggested, and confirmatory longitudinal studies are needed prior to recommending this scale for use in cartilage repair. Inclusion of a generic measure is feasible in cartilage repair studies and allows analysis of health-related quality of life and health economic outcomes. The Marx or Tegner Activity Rating Scales are feasible and have been evaluated in patients with knee injuries. However, activity measures require age and sex adjustment, and data are lacking in people with cartilage repair.

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