Reliability, Validity, and Responsiveness of the Lysholm Knee Scale for Various Chondral Disorders of the Knee

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Background:The Lysholm knee scale is a condition-specific outcome measure that was originally designed to assess ligament injuries of the knee. The purpose of this study was to determine the psychometric properties of the Lysholm knee scale for various chondral disorders of the knee.Methods:Test-retest reliability, internal consistency, content validity, criterion validity, construct validity, and responsiveness to change were determined for the Lysholm knee scale within subsets of an overall study population of 1657 patients with chondral disorders of the knee. The study population was a heterogeneous group of patients with various types of traumatic and degenerative chondral lesions, including isolated lesions and those associated with meniscal and ligament injuries.Results:The overall Lysholm knee scale and six of the eight domains had acceptable test-retest reliability (intraclass correlation coefficient = 0.91) and internal consistency (Cronbach alpha = 0.65). The overall Lysholm knee scale demonstrated acceptable floor (0%) and ceiling (0.7%) effects; however, the floor effects for the domain of squatting and the ceiling effects for the domains of limp, instability, support, and locking were unacceptable (>30%). There was acceptable criterion validity with significant (p < 0.05) correlations between the overall Lysholm knee scale and the physical functioning, role-physical, and bodily pain domains of the Short Form-12 scale; the pain, stiffness, and function domains of the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index; and the Tegner activity scale. The overall Lysholm knee scale had acceptable construct validity, with all nine hypotheses demonstrating significance (p < 0.05), and it had acceptable responsiveness to change (effect size, 1.16; standardized response mean, 1.10), with large effects (≥0.80) for the domains of pain, limping, swelling, and squatting and a small effect (≥0.20) for the domain of instability.Conclusions:The Lysholm knee scale demonstrated overall acceptable psychometric performance for outcomes assessment of various chondral disorders of the knee, although some domains demonstrated suboptimal performance. Psychometric testing of other condition-specific knee instruments in patients with chondral disorders of the knee would be helpful to allow for comparison of psychometric properties.

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