Several alternative treatments exist for treating ACL tears. These usually include:
· Activity changes
· Physical therapy
If these simpler treatment methods are not effective in 6 weeks to 6 months, and your doctor feels surgery will help you, an ACL reconstruction is usually recommended.
The degree of instability or weakness in your knee and your desired activity level are important factors to be considered prior to having surgery. For many people the instability is not a significant problem and they function well by changing their activity level and enhancing their knee stability by strengthening the hamstrings through physical therapy. Other people find they cannot perform athletically or otherwise with an unstable knee, and therefore are more apt to have the surgery.
If you have questions about any of the different alternative methods of treatment, you should discuss them with your doctor and decide which one, if any, is appropriate for you.