Dr. Nancy Reid
Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) rupture is a frequent and costly sport-related trauma sustained in young, active adults. The damage can have a detrimental effect on athletes in terms of pain and instability. Moreover, the injury can result in poor quality of life, inability to return to the pre-injured level of activity, and development of post-traumatic osteoarthritis. Some patients can recover from the initial injury and return to many sporting activities after conservative treatment with focused physiotherapy. However, other patients require surgical reconstruction of their ACL tears secondary to persistent knee instability.
Despite conventional treatment for ACL tear by surgical reconstruction, either using auto- or allograft, some evidence suggests that conservative treatment for ACL tear using a non-surgical approach such as physiotherapy results in comparable outcomes. Research on risks associated with ACL reconstruction has not been favorable and therefore raises the clinical question, "Should providers offer patients with acute ACL injuries a period of rehabilitation with physiotherapy before recommending surgical reconstruction?”
Currently, there is no strong evidence-based management for an acute ACL tear. There is no consensus on which treatment is superior: surgical reconstruction versus conservative treatment. Additional research studies are necessary to address these treatments' long-term outcomes and pitfalls regarding clinical and cost-effective strategies. In doing so, there is hope that a preferred standardized treatment for acute ACL rupture emerges soon.
Bui-Le, Long K.
"Ruptured Anterior Cruciate Ligament: Conservative Treatment versus Surgical Reconstruction,"
Lynchburg Journal of Medical Science: Vol. 3
, Article 17.
Available at: https://digitalshowcase.lynchburg.edu/dmscjournal/vol3/iss3/17
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