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Table 3 GRADE evidence quality for each outcome

From: A systematic review comparing the results of early vs delayed ligament surgeries in single anterior cruciate ligament and multiligament knee injuries

Quality assessment Summary of findings
Number of studies Design Quality Consistency Directness Other modifying factors No. of patients Summary Quality
Delayed Early
Concomitant meniscus tear
 18 RCT: 7
Non-RCT: 11
Very serious limitations (−2) Important
inconsistency (−1)
Some uncertainty (−1) Evidence of a dose-response gradient (+ 1) 1308 1062 The incidence of meniscus tear in delayed group was higher than in early group. Only 3 studies reported higher incidence of meniscus tear in early group Low
Lysholm score
 17 RCT: 4
Non-RCT: 13
Very serious limitations (−2) No important inconsistency Some uncertainty (−1) Imprecise or sparse data
(− 1). Evidence of a dose-response gradient (+ 1)
402 455 The Lysholm scores decreased in delayed surgery group. Only 2 studies reported higher scores in delayed surgery group Low
Tegner score
 15 RCT: 8
Non-RCT: 7
Very serious limitations (−2) No important inconsistency Some uncertainty (−1) None 496 524 The Tegner scores decreased in delayed surgery group, but those for delayed surgery group in MLKI were marginal Low
Concomitant cartilage injury
 10 RCT: 5
Non-RCT: 5
Very serious limitations (−2) Important
inconsistency (−1)
Some uncertainty (− 1) Imprecise or sparse data
(− 1)
673 1008 The incidence of cartilage injury in delayed group was higher than in early group. Only 1 study of MLKI was included for this meta-analysis. Very low
  1. GRADE Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation, RCT randomized controlled trial, MLKI multiligament knee injury