A torn ACL, the ligament that stabilizes the knee, can be treated by avoiding surgery and giving physical therapy a try.
It is one of the most commonly feared injuries and relates to sports and work. When you plant your foot and turn, it's the tough piece of tissue that keeps the knee from bending sideways.
A clinical trial by physiotherapist Richard B. Frobell, PhD, of Sweden's Lund University, and colleagues, has stated that this may not be the best strategy for everyone.
Frobell's team took 121 young, active, highly competitive, non-professional athletes and divided them into two groups.
Within 10 weeks of injury, one group underwent ACL reconstruction, but the reconstruction was delayed in the other group. This group was given the ACL reconstruction until it became obvious they needed it or until they healed.
It was observed after two years that both groups had good results. One major difference was seen in and that is about 60 per cent of people with delayed surgery found they never needed the operation.
Frobell stated, "A lot of people say you need ACL surgery if you want to return to sports. But our results show we might be better off if we start with rehabilitation. Then we can reduce the number of people needing surgery."
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