Several treatments exist for treating ACL tears. These usually include:
If these simpler treatment methods are not helpful within 6 weeks to 6 months, an ACL reconstruction may be recommended. The degree of instability or weakness in the knee and the desired activity level are important things to consider before having surgery.
For many people, having an unstable knee is not a significant problem and they function well by changing their activity level and making their knee stronger by strengthening their hamstrings through physical therapy. Other people find that they cannot perform athletically or otherwise with an unstable knee, and therefore are more likely to have surgery.