The Orthopedic Blog

Will my ACL Get Better if I Don’t Have Surgery

Posted on Wed, Apr 17, 2013 @ 11:04 AM

Will my ACL Get Better if I Don’t Have Surgery

Anterior Cruciate Ligament, or ACL tear, is one of the most feared and uncomfortable work and sports injuries. ACL is tissue, but a hard part that stops the knee from bending to the sides when it is rotated and the foot is planted. It is stated that nobody truly knows the best method of treatment, but still in excess of 200,000 Americans undergo ACL surgery annually.

The surgery consists of restoring the torn ACL with tendon grafts and large numbers of patients undergo the surgical treatment right after they incur the injury. Nonetheless, a few experts claim that ACL surgery might not be the best option for everyone. However, will an ACL tear get better without surgery?

A Clinical Trial Result

A clinical trial carried out by Richard Frobell, a physiotherapist showed a few amazing results. Randomly, Frobell chose 121 young, active individuals who are non-professional athletes but highly competitive among their peers. He assigned these young adults to two separate ACLWill my ACL Get Better if I Don’t Have Surgery treatments.

Each group underwent a structured physical therapy program, in which each individual worked from improving synchronization and balance to knee strengthening workout sessions. Frobell sent one group to undergo ACL tear surgery within 8 to 10 weeks of the injury. However, the other group delayed surgery, but continued with rehabilitation until they needed the surgery or until the ACL healed on its own.

Almost two years later, both groups came out with positive results; none of the treatment options were better than the other one. Nonetheless, there was one huge difference and that is, 60% of patients who delayed surgery found out that they did not need the surgical treatment. Through his clinical test, Frobell found that patients might be better off if they start with physical therapy.

Numerous Factors to be Considered

While the results were amazing, numerous experienced orthopedic surgeons warn that patients might risk more damages if they delay surgery to repair an ACL tear. As with any injury, it is best to consult an orthopedic surgeon to find out if the ACL will get better without surgery.


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Topics: ACL tear