OT: i just tore my ACL, what to do

Submitted by BlueCE on February 16th, 2013 at 3:40 PM
Hey guys, I was skiing today and it looks like I tore my ACL. Doctors said it was my choice Re: surgery. Recommendations? I am 35 and fairly active. Thanks



February 16th, 2013 at 7:57 PM ^

I am an orthopaedic surgeon and I would encourage you to have ACL reconstruction if you want to remain active doing impact activities. The surgery has a very high success rate if you do your rehab.  Unless you are content with being less active there is no good reason not to do it.  Do your homework and find a good surgeon.  If you have surgery, my advice is to have an autograft (your tissue) instead of an allograft (cadaver).  The studies show hamstrings and patella tendons to be equal (there are some pros and cons of each).  Most surgeons have a preference of one or the other.  Have the surgeon you pick do the one he does the most of (and likely the best). Good luck.


February 16th, 2013 at 6:27 PM ^

check out my past couple posts, specifically my last one which focuses on surgical options.



If you're someone who wants to continue to ski/ play cutting sports / etc , surgery is a excellent option. However, if you're ok with walking or jogging for exercise, you may be able to get away with going non surgical.

From the sounds of things, you're one of the people for whom a cadaver graft may be an option at least worth looking into


February 16th, 2013 at 3:44 PM ^

You sir win the "advice you probably shouldnt take from random, unqualified strangers without beneift of any medical training or your personal health history" award.


February 16th, 2013 at 4:00 PM ^

I hate to the guy to burst your bubble of internet trust but sometimes people make things up and claim things that arent true.  

Anyone who's ever done internet dating knows that the girl posting this pic on line......

Turns into this girl when you actually meet


First game Navy 1981

February 16th, 2013 at 3:45 PM ^

I tore mine at 19. The surgery was more I trust e back then. My advice, if you wish to remain active is to have surgery. The recovery takes time, but I can do all kinds of stuff without a brace, including firefighting.


February 16th, 2013 at 4:13 PM ^

thought i'd throw you a bone with a serious response since there arent too many on here... i tore mine, grade 3 and also did other major damage at the same time, bout 8 yrs ago.  surgery went well, scars are pretty minimal, and after rehab, was absolutely back to 100%. once you get your mri results, your doc will be better able to advise. its a pretty common injury now, your doc should be well versed on the topic.  i think if its grade 1 or 2 you might be able to get away without surgery, but you might want it anyways.

rob f

February 16th, 2013 at 8:29 PM ^

No Cortisol.

No "walking it off".

No rubbing dirt into it.

And no, no "rubbing some 'tussin (?) on it".

Maybe, but only temporarily, duct tape might help.

What you really need, though, is Snake Oil!  Anyone here know of a good Snake Oil Salesman?


February 16th, 2013 at 3:45 PM ^

A little dirt on it, put on a band-aid and get your ass back on the slopes, pain is just fear leaving the body. In all seriousness...get surgery, otherwise your knee will fall off later in life.


February 16th, 2013 at 3:51 PM ^

Do some physical therapy before the surgery. The better shape your leg is in before surgery, the faster you'll recover.

When choosing a surgery, I would recommend going the patellar tendon route.

I'm speaking from testing my ACL in May 2010 (my graduation present) playing soccer at Elbel Field. Had surgery the Tuesday after graduation and was playing soccer again in September.

Best of luck. Hope that info helped.


February 16th, 2013 at 3:51 PM ^

"Doctors said it was my choice Re: surgery. Recommendations?"

 Need a bit more to go on. Is it your first knee injury? Is it a partial tear etc.

Otherwise, swinging a bit wildly in terms of any sort of recommendations.



PB-J Time

February 16th, 2013 at 3:53 PM ^

Active how? You should be able to continue most activities without the surgery. Pivot activities/sports (Bball, maybe tennis) will be difficult. However you are leaning, WAIT. Your pain from the initial injury & bone bruising will heal & then you'll know what your symptoms are


February 16th, 2013 at 3:53 PM ^

As a student who was pre-med for about a week and therefore highly qualified in this department, I suggest self-operation to save some money. Not too hard to do.