Age and Activity Level
When the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is torn or stretched out of shape, it leads to knee instability. This will feel like your knee is buckling or giving way, particularly with activities that involve pivoting or cutting. If you’re older, sedentary, and engage in mostly straight-line activities like cycling or jogging, physical therapy may be all you need. Younger people who want to remain active or return to jumping, cutting, or twisting activities will benefit from ACL surgery combined with physical therapy before and after surgery.
Thorough Exam Determines Extent of Injury
A thorough examination, including X-rays and MRI, will determine if you suffered a knee ligament or another knee injury. If it’s an isolated MCL, PCL, or LCL ligament injury, knee surgery may not be necessary. Our experience shows that when these injuries occur in isolation, they often can heal on their own better and faster with knee bracing, early motion, physical therapy, and anti-inflammatory medication. When these injuries are combined with an ACL injury, surgery may be recommended.