Dr. Pranjal Piara Says at ASSIC Advanced sports Injury and joint Treatment Clinic explains that ACL injuries can be managed non-operatively or operatively. According to 2 new prospective studies (MOON and KANON), both ACL reconstruction and rehabilitation treatment strategies “are likely to yield high-quality, low-cost care when performed for the appropriate candidates.”
For patients who are not good candidates for surgical repair (elderly, non-active older person), nonsurgical treatment may be effective. If the overall stability of the knee is intact, bracing and physical therapy may be recommended
—and the patient is given specific exercises to strengthen the muscles around the knee and help restore the function of the knee.
If a patient opts to treat a complete ACL rupture non-operatively, it is important for them to understand the possible consequences. The ACL deficient knee may place the patient at increased risk for further injuries such as meniscal tears, chronic pain, and decreased level of activity.
Fewer than 50% of patients treated non-operatively return to their pre-injury level of sports participation. A number of studies suggest that the ACL injury alone, regardless of the treatment, predisposes the patient to develop osteoarthritis.
Active, younger patients and high-level athletes often opt for surgical reconstruction. The decision to have surgery is based upon several factors including age, level of activity, functional demands, and the presence of associated injuries (meniscal tear.) Patients with associated injuries must have surgical reconstruction.
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