ACL Injuries: To have Surgery Or Not
Not all that long ago this wasn’t even a question, if you tore your ACL, you had it surgically repaired.
However, in recent times things have changed, and non-surgical management is becoming more common. Why is this? Well, a lot of people can function quite well with a torn ACL.
Currently most athletes who are aiming to return to sports that involve quick directional changes will have surgery. In saying this, some elite athletes such as Peter Wallace in the NRL and Phillip Rivers, an American Football quarterback in the NFL have returned to the top level without having surgery.
So, what does that mean for the everyday person? It largely depends on what you want to do. If you have no ambition to get back on the football field or netball court then there is a good chance that with a proper rehabilitation program to regain your strength, balance and proprioception you will be able to return to jogging, cycling, swimming etc and not require surgery.
If you want to get back playing quick directional change sports, then the decision is harder as there are a lot more individual factors at play. In this case, talk to your physiotherapist, talk to an orthopaedic surgeon and then make your decision from there.
But remember, it is possible to return to sport without going under the knife to repair your ACL, it will be a lot of work, but so is the rehabilitation post-surgery.