2nd ACL surgery (difference in physician opinions)

I have torn the ACL in the same knee twice and am schedule for a second surgery. My doctor has said I should change my lifestyle after the surgery and give up all "cutting" sports. I got a 2nd opinion from another physician who said he could do repair and, with correct rehab, I could play these sports again. I play them recreationally. Why is there such a difference in philosophy between orthopedists?


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Dec 21, 2008
surgeon opinions
by: Bart - SII

One surgeon is likely telling you the situation based on their experiences...that after a second ACL reconstruction on the same knee, returning to sports that involve cutting and place your knee at a higher risk for re-injury is not in your best interest for the long term health of the knee.

The other is being more optimistic, and is likely telling you the situation also based on their experiences. They are confident that they can reconstruct and return you to sports - however, it doesn't change the fact that there is a greater risk for the ACL when returning to cutting sports, and the long term health of your knee could be compromised - they just left that part out.

With two ACL reconstructions, you will have early onset arthritis. The question is whether or not the recreational activities you want to return to are worth the possibility of a limiting knee later in life.


May 10, 2010
2nd acl op
by: Jim

I'm due to have a second acl reconstruction of my right knee having popped the previous graft playing footy.

It seems I pop a ligament every six years. Left Knee 1998, right 2004 and 2010.

My surgein seems to think it will be fine to play footy again but given the fact that I'm now 33 with a young lad I just don't want to risk it.

I still think I need the surgery though to stabilise the knee and I still want to play regular golf for a good 30 odd years + have a kick about in the garden with my lad when he's a bit older.

Obviously its going to be harder this time with the rehab as I'M a bit older and feel less motivated about the whole thing(here we go again kind of attitude).

I would be interested in hearing your thoughts.

Sep 09, 2010
second repair
by: Anonymous


I am also going for my second acl reconstruction - however due to graft streching and rotational instability. I also had two different opinions from doctors. The one operating me the first time tols me that he wouldn't want to suggest a second operation - the other one telling me that my instability could easily be fixed. I trust the second doctor - as I can not live without sports in my life and though the Donjoy helps it is just not a longterm solution.


Dec 20, 2010
2nd reconstruction
by: Brad


I am about to undertake my 2nd knee reconstruction on my right knee. I blew out my acl (no meniscus damage) the first time at 20 playing Australian football and had it reconstructed using a hamstring tendon. Now, at 27 I have re-torn the graft and damaged my meniscus, (Australian football again!). I have had two opinions, one surgeon suggested I have an allograft. I saw another surgeon and he said he was happy to do a patella tendon graft (my preference). I had not had any problems with my graft in seven yrs until an unexpected shove on a hard surface. I did not wear a brace and I snowboarded as much as I could in those years. My question to previous authors, who have undergone the 2nd surgery is have you successfully returned to pivoting sports? Other sports? Do you wear a brace?

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