I recently attended a talk on ACL injuries in the knee and whether surgery was necessarily the best option for treatment. The key points from the talk were:
Managing expectations is always the key – it is important to realize that you may not get your old knee back with surgery! Even with surgery, you may not be able to return to sports like before. Post ACL repair there is also a high risk for re-injury of the ACL again; in females it is in the opposite knee, and in males the same injured knee.
After 5 weeks of physical therapy rehab post injury, you’ll have a good indication of how your knee will recover. It is possible to return to high level sports with torn ACL’s!
Delaying surgery up to 6 months post injury may be more beneficial, as this allows time for the inflammation to settle and the knee to recover in strength prior to deciding whether surgery is required. A recent long term study showed that after 2 years, there were few differences in knee function and return to high level sports in those who had surgery versus those who did not.
So the take home message is that physical therapy is important post ACL injury. Physical therapy may be all that you need to regain your function!
Attached are 2 articles that were discussed at the talk:
For more information, you can contact Janice at The Grange Physical Therapy Clinic at 780-756-3535.