A torn ACL doesn’t always require surgery to heal


Soccer can cause ACL tears, but surgery may not be necessary to heal.  A new corset has recently been developed for rehabilitation.

Soccer can cause ACL tears, but surgery may not be necessary to heal. A new corset has recently been developed for rehabilitation.

NYT

Q. I’m a 20 year old college football player who landed right on my knee last week and felt a pop.

I went to see the team doctor who thought my knee was “loose” and believed I had an ACL tear. When I got the results of my MRI I was told I had a tear in the PCL and the ACL was fine. The doctor said I needed surgery but still may not be able to return to football.

I’m confused about the change in diagnosis, the need for surgery, and the possibility that I won’t be able to play anymore. Any advice will be welcome.

A. There are four main ligaments in the knee that maintain stability. MCL and LCL are important for stable lateral movement. These ligaments have good microcirculation and can usually heal without surgery.

The ACL and PCL intersect deep inside the knee and are important for pivoting activities. Both of these ligaments have poor microcirculation and, if injured, usually require surgery to reconstruct the damaged ligament.

Among cruciate ligament injuries (ACL and PCL), ACL is the ligament torn 97% of the time. This explains why your doctor initially thought your ACL was torn. However, unlike ACL injuries which likely require surgery to return to football, many PCL injuries can be treated non-surgically.

The surgery depends on the damage associated with your knee and the degree of instability. Many grade 1-2 injuries can be managed with fitting and rehabilitation followed by return to play.

Recently, a PCL Dynamic Brace (PCL Rebound Brace) has been released that significantly helps in the healing and rehabilitation of PCL. In grade 3 injuries with severe instability, surgery would almost certainly be required to resume play.

If you are not yet comfortable with your doctor’s opinion, you may want a second opinion from an orthopedic surgeon who deals with elite athletes.

Dr Harlan Selesnick is a team physician for the Miami Heat and director of the Miami Sports Medicine Fellowship, Doctors Hospital. Send your questions to [email protected]

About Rhonda Lee

Check Also

Mosul Dam Rehabilitation Wins Outstanding Project Award

The Mosul Dam Rehabilitation Project in Iraq has been named the winner of the 2022 …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.