Do All ACL Tears Require Surgery?

Your anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) forms a crucial part of your knee joint. This ligament, running diagonally across your knee, connects your femur with your tibia and holds your leg bones in place.

ACL tears are a common sports injury, but you can also damage your ACL if you’ve never competed in athletics. Just turning or stopping too quickly or jarringly can damage your ACL.

ACL injuries can range from mild to severe. For some tears, you may need ACL surgery to restore your knee joint. At the Orthopedic Center of Arlington, orthopedic surgeon Bruce I. Prager, MD, and his experienced care team can diagnose your ACL issues and recommend the right treatment options for you. Dr. Prager treats new and existing patients from around the Arlington, Texas area.

How bad is your ACL injury?

Your ACL can be damaged by rapid changes in a  direction or by a contact injury. The first thing to do is diagnose and assess the severity of your ACL injury.

A minor ACL strain or tear may not need surgical treatment. Instead, Dr. Prager may recommend rest, compression, or physical therapy. However, if you have a severe ACL injury preventing you from walking or fully bending your knee due to pain, you might need ACL surgery to rebuild your knee joint and restore your full range of motion.

Dr. Prager examines your knee joint to determine whether you need surgical treatment. Even if you think you only have a strain, get checked out by Dr. Prager to make sure you don’t have a more serious knee problem. If your ACL needs surgical treatment, the problem may not improve on its own, and you may harm your knee joint. 

Treating mild and severe ACL injuries

If you only have a mild ACL injury, you may be able to stabilize your knee joint and resolve pain symptoms without surgical intervention. However, your ACL won’t heal independently, as it doesn’t receive any blood flow.

If you don’t see improvement with rehabilitation and bracing, surgical solutions may become necessary. If you need full function in your knee joint and can’t make lifestyle changes like frequently resting a damaged knee, surgical treatment might be your best option.

If you do need surgery to treat an ACL tear, you can trust Dr. Prager and his team to minimize the impacts of your treatment. With a conservative approach, Dr. Prager uses minimally invasive surgical techniques like arthroscopy to restore your knee joint without the need for large incisions. After arthroscopic procedures, your healing and recovery time will be shorter, getting you back on your feet as soon as possible.

To learn more about your treatment options for an ACL injury, strain, or tear, get in touch with Dr. Prager at the Orthopedic Center of Arlington today. You can schedule an appointment over the phone or book online.


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