The aims of treatment for an ACL injury are to reduce pain and swelling in your knee, restore the normal joint movement and strengthening the muscles around your knee.
There are many options which are available for you
To treat the immediate injury:
- Use RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation)
- Take pain relievers such as ibuprofen as needed
- You can use an elastic bandage around your knee
- Use a splint or walk with crutches if needed
To surgically repair your ligament, a piece of tendon from another part of your leg is used to replace it.
Surgery may be an option if:
- You are unable to continue doing your normal activities because of knee symptoms
- You're very active and want to continue doing heavy work, sports or other recreational activities. However, sometimes this may not be practical.
- Other parts of your knee like the meniscus or other ligaments, are also injured
ACL surgery is a procedure using arthroscopic techniques. This means the surgeon puts a small instrument (arthroscope) with a light and a small camera into your knee via some an incision. This allows your surgeon to see the inside of your knee joint and repair your ACL.
After surgery you'll have rehabilitation and may need a knee brace.
Sometimes surgery may not be necessary and the doctor will discuss the options with you.
This may be an appropriate choice for you as long as long as you're willing to give up activities that place extra stress on your knee. You may want to consider rehabilitation alone if:
- You only have a partial tear of your ACL
- You don't do sports that involve quick turning, pivoting or jumping. Or if you aren't very active
- You already have advanced knee arthritis