Surgery or just therapy? (ACL Tear)

by Cesar
(Berkeley, IL)

Like a month ago I injured my ACL playing basketball. When I hurt my knee i was able to walk without pain. The only problem that i had back then was that i could not bend it backwards. I got an MRI and this is what the impression read:

There is a tear of the anterior cruciate ligament with a large joint effusion. There is a bursitis of the medial colllateral ligament without evidence of any tear. There is a bone marrow edema of the distal lateral femoral condyle and the proximal tibia, both lateral and medially as well as the proximal fibular head. Correlate clinically on plain film studies is advised. There is a nondisplaced tear of the posterior horn of the medial meniscus suggested.

Its been a month now and I am now able to move it backwards and there is no swelling. To this point I am not walking with any pain and my knee has not given up or buckled yet.

i like to play basketball, jog and weightlift.

I want to know if I am going to need surgery because I feel fine and don't feel any pain right now.

Let me know what you think?

Comments for Surgery or just therapy? (ACL Tear)

Average Rating starstarstarstarstar

Click here to add your own comments

Jul 23, 2008
It is possible to go without surgery...
by: Bart - SII

Hi Cesar!

Everyone reacts differently to an ACL deficient knee. Some people can run and cut without problems, others can hardly walk up the stairs without their knee buckling.

While you do not have pain right now, that isn't to say you might have problems trying to run and jump and cut playing basketball. It is probably something you will have to try and see.

If you were my patient, I would recommend that you seriously consider surgery. I recommend this for two reasons...

1) The ACL keeps the knee stable, and without it, there is a lot of excessive movement that can cause early degeneration of the meniscus, and the articular surfaces.

2) Most young people want to enjoy an active lifestyle - playing sports, hiking, running, etc. and they should be able to do this without fear of their knee giving out. Without an ACL, you never know when your knee could give out on you.

I would recommend talking at length with your doctor about the pros and cons of having ACL surgery. Then, you can make an educated decision as to what is best for you and your lifetime goals.

Surgery is a pain, literally, but once you go through the rehab, you are usually much better off and able to get back to the things you love.

Hope this helps - comment back with other questions.

Click here to add your own comments

Return to Sports Injury Answers - Knee Ligaments.