For many people the idea of getting their ACL reconstructed as soon as possible is a ‘no brainer.’ Recent research suggests that in many cases this needn’t be the case.
Dr Richard Frobell and his associates in Denmark offered a group of patients with anterior cruciate ligament ruptures 3 treatment options – Immediate ACL reconstruction, rehabilitation and delayed reconstruction and rehabilitation only. After 5 years there was no difference in any of the outcome measures used.
Does this mean that everyone can function optimally with rehabilitation alone? The answer is no, but it does raise the idea that some people may cope quiet well with a rehabilitation program alone. If you are a young professional athlete that is required to do a lot of cutting and turning, it is likely you will need a reconstruction; and in the cutthroat world of professional sport sooner rather than later is the order of the day.
If you are a weekend warrior or someone who needs their knee to get them from A to B taking a more conservative approach may be the way forward.
A well-constructed and closely monitored rehabilitation program may be as effective as a reconstruction. Additionally there is always the option of surgery down the line if required, giving yourself an extra 6 months may save you going under the knife.