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ACL rupture- Surgery or Not?

Updated: Jan 27

Have you been diagnosed with an ACL rupture? Has your GP sent you for an MRI and has the results shown a full rupture? Are you now deciding whether or not you want to get surgery or not?


At the end of the day we like to classify our patients into "copers" and "non-copers". Put simply, if there is lots of pain and a lot of "giving-way", "instability" and " locking" of the knee we can categorise this into "non-copers". In times like this if you have tried some rehab for a few weeks and have the above symptoms, we do recommend seeking a second opinion and seeing an orthopaedic surgeon and consider surgery.

However, if you have none of the above symptoms and an adult, then not having surgery and taking the conservative route should be a thought process for you. Studies have shown that the conservative route can be just as effective as having surgery. Rehabilitation will need to focus on restoring normal movement in the knee, working on strength, balance and stability. It is important that you follow your therapist advice, as not doing the exercises prescribed to you will not help you get back to your full function. If you do play sports, towards the end of your rehab your therapist will be focusing on sports specific drills to get you back to performing at your best. It is important to note that if any of the above symptoms do arise through rehab you should let your therapist no.


If your child has ruptured their ACL, studies have shown that reconstruction provides better outcomes than conservative treatment.


Which ever route you choose, it is a long recovery process and either way will need guidance from your therapist to help you get back to normal.



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