What's the best way to treat an ACL injury?

Have you injured your ACL and are now wondering if this means game over for the sports and activities you love?

We’ve got good news - while the ACL ligament won’t repair itself, there are treatment options available that will get you back to the level of activity you previously enjoyed.

The treatment can take some time and usually comes in one of two forms, depending on your unique circumstances.

1. Rehabilitation

Depending on your age, the work you perform, the level of tear, other damage to any other ligaments or to the knee and the sport activities you participate in, your doctor might refer you to undergo several months of rehabilitation.

In some cases, people can return to a normal level of function without surgery simply through rehab alone.

2. An ACL reconstruction (otherwise referred to as a knee reconstruction)

The ACL ligament cannot repair itself and therefore needs to be replaced to allow your knee to return to full functionality. An ACL reconstruction is performed as arthroscopic or keyhole surgery under general anaesthetic and involves replacing the ACL ligament with a graft (often taken from the hamstring, quadricep or patella tendons).

This is a very common surgical procedure in Australia and, thanks to advancements in technique and technologies, is less painful and involves a shorter recovery time than in the past. You will need to follow a rehabilitation program in the lead up to surgery to build your knee’s strength for the operation. You will also need rehab after the operation.

What’s the best option for me?

Your doctor will work with you to determine whether just rehabilitation or surgery and rehabilitation is best for your unique injury. Again, this will come down to your level of injury, age and the activities you wish to return to - whether that’s simply walking or playing sport and catch with the kids.

As one of the top Orthopaedic Surgeons in Newcastle and the Hunter Valley, Dr Stuart MacKenzie has created a range of guidebooks on hip, knee and ACL surgery to assist you in making the right decisions for your treatment and recovery.


1 Apr 2018

Published by Default Admin

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