The first of a series of informational articles created by USASA sponsor Orthopedic Physician Associates to help keep our players happy, healthy, and playing as long as possible.
Let me tell you a secret; not everyone who tears their anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) needs to have an ACL reconstruction. The fact is that in a room full of orthopaedic surgeons, you can't throw a cat without hitting a few who have ACL tears and chose to avoid surgery. The "honest" surgeon doesn't operate on every knee with a torn ACL; rather, the surgeons should assess the likelihood that an ACL reconstruction will actually benefit the patient based on his or her activity level, age, and risk for continued instability or ongoing injury to the knee. A very simplified grouping algorithm looks like this:
So, before signing up for surgery to reconstruct your ACL, think about your activity level, current level of function and comfort, activity goals, etc and decide with your surgeon what the best treatment option is for you and your knee.
Written by: Christopher J. Wahl, MD, SPORTS MEDICINE SURGEON, Orthopedic Physician Associates www.wahlmd.com (Dr. Wahl, an expert in sports medicine and minimally-invasive arthroscopic surgery, provides surgical care to recreational and elite athletes in Seattle, WA. Read full bio at: https://www.opaortho.com/wahl)
This article was prepared or accomplished by Christopher J. Wahl in his personal capacity. The information and/or opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and should not be considered medical advice by the US Adult Soccer Association.