The VISA score: an index of severity of symptoms in patients with jumper's knee (patellar tendinosis). Victorian Institute of Sport Tendon Study Group

P J Visentini, K M Khan, J L Cook, Z S Kiss, P R Harcourt, J D Wark
Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport 1998, 1 (1): 22-8
Symptoms of jumper's knee (patellar tendinosis) are not easily quantified and this may explain why there are no evidence-based guidelines for managing the condition. A simple, practical questionnaire-based index of severity would facilitate jumper's knee research and subsequently, clinical management. Thus we devised and tested the Victorian Institute of Sport Assessment (VISA) questionnaire. The brief questionnaire assesses (i) symptoms, (ii) simple tests of function and (iii) ability to play sport. Six of the eight questions are scored on a visual analogue scale from 0-10 with 10 representing optimal health. The maximal VISA score for an asymptomatic, fully performing individual is 100 points and the theoretical minimum is 0 points. We found the VISA scale to have excellent short-term test-retest, and inter-tester reliability (both, r>0.95) as well as good short-term (one week) stability (r=0.87). Mean (SD) of the VISA scores ranged from 95 (8) points in asymptomatic control subjects to 55 (12) points in patients who presented to a sports medicine clinic with jumper's knee and 22 (17) points in patients before surgery for chronic jumper's knee. Six- and twelve-months after surgery VISA scores returned to 49 (15) and 75 (17) points respectively, mirroring clinical recovery. We conclude that the VISA score is a reliable index of the severity of jumper's knee that has potential to aid clinicians and researchers.

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