Better reporting standards are needed to enhance the quality of hop testing in the setting of ACL return to sport decisions: a narrative review.
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There is a lack of consistency in return to sport (RTS) assessments, in particular hop tests to predict who will sustain a reinjury following anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction. Inconsistent test battery content and methodological heterogeneity might contribute to variable associations between hop test performance and subsequent injury. Our aim was to investigate whether commonly used hop tests are administered in a consistent manner and in accordance with reported guidelines. We conducted a narrative review of studies that examined whether hop testing could differentiate RTS pass rates, reinjury and rerupture in athletes after ACL reconstruction. Our specific focus was on the methodological procedures of hop testing as this component is widely used to evaluate patients' function and readiness to RTS. Substantial variation exists in RTS hop test administration, scoring and interpretation. Authors often failed to report important details of methods such as warm up activities, randomisation, number of trials, rest periods and landing requirements. We recommend researchers provide clearer descriptions of how hop tests are performed to increase standardisation and promote accurate data collection. Absence of reporting to describe test methods and using different test procedures makes it difficult to compare study findings.
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