Playing Sports with ACL Tear

by Susan
(Lawrenceburg, In )

My 17 year old daughter who is an All State Keeper was playing a fun game with the high school boys. She ended up with a complete tear of the ACL, Grade I sprain injury of the medial collateral ligament, bone bruise posteromedial tibial plateau but no definite meniscal tear.

She is telling me she can play her senior soccer season and hold on surgery with a brace. Her doctor has said players have done this.

Is this true, what is she risking?

Are their braces out there for ACL tears?

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Oct 02, 2012
Football acl tear NEW
by: Anonymous

Hi i am a senior in high school and i tore my acl the second game of the season. i was going to be a very promissing running back and linebacker. I recently tried to go back to playing and was doing just fine for a bout 3 days when knee slipped and i got swelling and pain.

Im also a dual sport athelete. i also play soccar in the spring. i really want to finish out my senior year of football but at the same time i already have one college offer for soccer and i dont have any from football. i honestly love football more than soccer but there is no way im gunna get any looks with a torn acl. not even from D3 schools. If i do choose to play on my torn acl it will be pushing it close to the beggining of soccer season. Also to add on to this i plan to go to pre-med and i cant decided if i want to do a college sport.

Its not the pain or the risk of further injury that makes my scared. It is that either way i decide will have consiquences to my future.

PLEASE HELP ADDVICE WOULD BE GREATLY APPRECIATED...also sry about the spelling I know its very bad

Apr 21, 2012
got my ACL 70%, I am exercising well, can i play again ? NEW
by: kanna

First injury happened to me when i was playing football.I am my teams forward.I suddenly saw ball flying towards me from opposite goalkeeper. I tried stopping it,though i wasn't in position to stop it. It hit tip of my toe and my knee joint got rotated and returned to normal. There was slight swelling and doc said i got my acl over stretched.After a month exercising and no games i played volleyball.oneday my landing after jump wasnt correct and twisted my joint .Had swelling , MRI showed more than 50% tear.Doc suggested surgery,but i resisted.Now i am walking freely, can cycle real well, and iam undergoing physiotherapy.Can i play after 2 to 3 months of exercises.
I can flex my joint completely without pain.But i lost my quadriceps strength and my physio is working on that and my joint strength.
Please advise me what to do and can i play soccer again without surgery.I want to play only for 1 year and later i wont have even chance to play.

Jan 19, 2012
Sports without and ACL NEW
by: Craig

At age 48 I partially tore my ACL, I rehabed and returned to basketball & tennis, both 3x/wk, also snowboarding, surfing and bicycling and was doing fine. A year later, during tennis, I felt my knee shift, but there was no pain or residual swelling. I continued with tennis, but stopped basketball due to a disc problem. Two yrs later it happened again, but there was
no pain or swelling and sports continued. I knew that I was ACL deficient so I got a DonJoy brace and have been doing great for the last 12+ yrs playing tennis, singles and doubles, surfing, snowboarding and cycling. I am 64 yo and felt like I had a normal knee, but this Nov 2011 I got a buck handle tear while playing tennis. I was returning a high bouncing serve and think that my knee was close to full extension and I turned while weight-bearing. The Dr. said that I had a buck handle tear and that my ACL was torn. I had a partial menisectomy in Dec 2011, but opted to not repair the ACL. Why? my age and activity level should handle it, plus I have felt that It was probably completely torn 3 yrs after my original injury. 5 weeks post-op, after a strengthening program, I am ready to return to sports with my brace. The ortho said it would be wise to avoid competitive singles in tennis, doubles OK. If you choose an ACL brace, be sure to re-tighten it after warming up and re-check it periodically. I would say that my experience so far has been positive. My son tore his ACL at 19 and there was no question about repair except when. He is doing great. I'll let you know how it is going in a few years

Aug 05, 2008
Thanks for sharing...
by: Bart - SII

It is often hard to make a decision on whether to return to sports after an ACL tear without surgery. And many times you don't know if you will be successful until you try.

Rest and allowing the knee to recover is important, as well as strengthening and working on balance and control. But ultimately, your body may not be able to function correctly without the intact ACL.

I usually discourage playing ACL deficient with my patients for these exact reasons. While the ACL is already torn, with continued play you can cause further damage to the meniscus, articular surfaces, etc. Sometimes it is a risk worth taking - ie. championship games, end of career, etc.

thanks for sharing your story - hopefully it will help someone else in making this difficult decision.

Aug 05, 2008
Torn ACL abuse
by: Anonymous

You know what i will answer this myself.
I thought I am ready after resting and muscle build ups but i was wrong. The sport basketball is a full throttle game. (Jumping, fast running, sudden stops, cutting and sometimes very physical). Unless you are at your prime do not go back. Last month i had my ACL torn with my championship approaching. I am the shooting guard of the team and my team got upset after the sad news. After weeks of resting that i thought i am fully healed with all the muscles(quads and hams) plus a sport brace and tapes i didn't mind playing again. when i'm in the court for about just a minute, i didn't run, i didn't even walk. The ball was passed to me and i just took a shot. when i landed my feet on the floor i heard another pop again on the torn acl part. and there it got swolen again. This is the second time of my instablity. i will quit this game for a while until i got my surgery. If the league is not a professional one or for college league just let it go. If the league is just for bragging rights and fame just let it go. This is a life experience that i will share with the readers. That's all! thanks!

Jul 15, 2008
by: Mark

I torn my acl due to basketball.
I found the result of my MRI last week and it said that "There is almost a complete tear of the anterior cruciate ligament. The PCL, MCL at LCL patellar and quadriceps tendons are intact.

As I have read over the internet, it is important to strengthen my quads and hamstrings; well, i have done that and noticed some improvements.

I have the same case as this. I don't want to undergo surgery as of now yet because our championship will begin 2 weeks from now. I still want to play but after that, i consider ending my basketball career.

Now, I can walk but a little limpy and cannot bend my legs fully. I can still feel some pain on my knees but there's no swelling.

How can I stop the pain during these event? what is the best medicine to speed up healing or kill the pain for the meantime. (I have no alergies on all medicine so i guess what you will advise is good).

Also, is it good to apply tape on my knee first before wearing a brace?
Is there a possibility that my other intact leg parts be destroyed too if i have a strong quads and hamstrings?

Please advice..thanks!

Jun 22, 2008
It is possible
by: Bart - SII

Playing with and ACL deficient knee is not unheard of - it actually happens quite often, especially if it is to be able to finish a season, or complete a final season (like your daughter). There are braces available for the ACL deficient knee - they are called de-rotation braces and can often provide good support for the knee.

There is a risk with returning to activities without an ACL...the most significant is the possiblity of tearing the meniscus. Because the ACL is gone, the knee is more likely to pivot and shift within the joint, which creates abnormal stress on the meniscus. This is what I have seen with patients who play a season or finish a season with an ACL tear...they end up with meniscus tears. But, it is not a given.

Everyone does differently without an ACL. Some people can return to sports without any noticible problems, others have trouble just walking around the house. It really depends on how your daughter reacts. But, if she doesn't plan on playing soccer in college, or if she is dead set on playing her senior season, it is probably worth trying. She will know very early on whether or not she will be able to do it. One thing she does have as an advantage is that she is a goal keeper, which doesn't require as much of the sudden stops and cutting like a position player.

I would discuss the risks with your physician and look into the brace - she would probably benefit from some rehabilitation to work on improving her knee stabilizers as well.

Hope this helps - comment back with other questions.

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