Hey, I’m Rheine from Miami Physio and Lakelands Physio, and this is part 3 of our ACL series where I talk about what you can do after your ACL injury and if you need surgery.
Have you recently experienced an ACL injury and are thinking of surgery? Well, you might want to consider consulting with a physiotherapist first to assess whether that’s the right intervention for you.
Several factors come into consideration when choosing between conservative and surgical management of ACL injuries. Each case should be assessed individually and you should be able to have a discussion with your physiotherapist and surgeon as to the best course of action required.
Current best research suggests that ACL injuries and meniscal tears have the capacity to heal, depending on the presentation. Furthermore, research has shown that large groups of people can cope well without ACL surgery.
Is there any difference in long-term outcomes?
Research has shown that results of surgical and conservative ACL interventions are no different at 2 & 5 years post-op. Evidence shows that those who undergo conservative treatment are at no higher risk of OA. Additionally, if you are an athlete, you can return to pivoting sports without having an ACL injury surgically managed.
What are some factors that can contribute to a decision to undergo surgery?
These considerations are specific to the individual and include, but are not limited to, sporting participation, occupational requirements, financial and time restraints, and functional knee stability.
So what should you choose?
The current world best-practice model recommends a pre-habilitation program for 3 months before deciding whether to continue with conservative management or move on to operative management. This is because individuals who do rehab prior to surgery have superior outcomes to those who have early surgery.
Ultimately, whether you choose to undergo surgery or not, physiotherapy is still an essential component of your journey to recovery. If you want a structured rehabilitation program for your ACL injury (whether it’s prehabilitation, post-op rehab, or conservative management), book an appointment with one of our physiotherapists today!
Thanks for reading our ACL series!