The Orthopedic Blog

Do All Ligament or Cartilage Tears Require Surgery

Posted on Sun, Apr 14, 2013 @ 16:04 PM

Do All Ligament or Cartilage Tears Require Surgery

When a person sustains a ligament tear, the first thing that usually comes to mind is, whether he should obtain a surgery for the tear. The good news is not all ligament tears require surgery to heal, such as the Anterior Cruciate Ligament, or ACL.

How do people incur an ACL tear?

An ACL tear is often a sports-related injury, but it can also happen during mover vehicleDo All Ligament or Cartilage Tears Require Surgery collisions, work-related injuries, falls, and rough play. It is stated that about 80% of sports-related Anterior Cruciate Ligament tears are non-contact injuries, which means that the injury happens without person-to-person contact.

Normally, a large number of ACL tears happen when landing from a jump, sudden turning of the leg, or pivoting. When the ACL is torn, the knee gives out or pops from under the player. Female athletes who participate actively in competitive sports are more prone to sustain ACL and other ligament tears. Nonetheless, it is not clear as to why female athletes have a higher risk of injuring their ligaments.

Symptoms of ACL and other tears

Generally, patients who may have sustained a ligament tear would have to go through a number of treatment methods and tests in order for a doctor to diagnose if it is indeed a tear. Most people who have a ligament tear in their knee will experience a pop and the knee will give out from under them.

When that happens, the knee will start to swell and the patient will feel intense pain. Doctors normally look for symptoms of instability in their patient’s knee. If a person wants to find out if he has a torn ACL, then special tests will need to be carried out by a specialist. X-rays and an MRI are usually used to establish if there are ligament tears and to look for other signs of associated injuries.

Is Surgery Needed?

Depending on the severity of the ligament tear, patients may not need to undergo surgery. Before undergoing surgery, it is advisable that patients consider several things and obtain the opinion of only trusted orthopedic surgeons.


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Topics: ligament tear