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Non-Surgical Treatment and Management of ACL Tears

Have you recently suffered an ACL injury? Then, you may wonder if you need surgery to address it. However, the good news is ACL injuries don’t always need surgical intervention. Of course, the treatment approach will depend on the injury’s severity. However, if the impact or injury isn’t severe, doctors may prescribe non-surgical measures. If you’ve been looking for some, this blog overviews a few non-surgical measures for ACL treatment and management.

What is an ACL Injury?

An anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is a knee joint ligament that holds bones together. It can suffer injury due to direct impact with something or even due to non-contact accidents. The injury can strain the ligament or cause a partial tear or complete rupture. It can cause pain in and around the knee joint, coupled with swelling, bruising, and different levels of stiffness.

As stated earlier, not every ACL injury requires surgery. Doctors recommend it when the knee becomes unstable or the patient experiences a buckling sensation. Besides, surgery is usually prescribed for people above 40 or younger and for those beyond 40 who want to resume high activity levels. In addition, active patients who suffer from knee meniscus tears are also advised of surgery.

Nevertheless, doctors diagnose the condition and determine if treating and managing ACL injury is possible with non-surgical measures. If they deem so, they prescribe a range of conservative treatment options. Let’s look at them.

How to Treat an ACL Without Surgery?

An ACL injury can be treated and managed without undergoing surgery. Some generic options include the following.

  • Decreasing Swelling
  • Swelling is common after an ACL injury. However, you can reduce it with the below.
  • Applying ice for 15-20 minutes at a time many times during the day.
  • Wrapping the knee tightly with a bandage and compressing it. Your doctor will instruct you how to do it.
  • Lying down and elevating your knee above your heart and resting your legs on pillows.
  • Physiotherapy

You can begin physiotherapy once the swelling and pain reduce. The physiotherapist will suggest various exercises like calf raises, knee bends, band exercises, straight leg raises, and quad exercises to increase strength, improve flexibility, and enhance mobility.

However, you must ensure you perform these exercises only under the physiotherapist’s supervision to avoid further injuries and achieve optimal results.

  • Activity Restrictions

After an ACL injury, your doctors will advise you on how much rest you must take daily and the knee movements to avoid. Generally speaking, you must prevent jogging, swimming, and movements that would stress the knee. You will have to undergo imaging tests or MRI to determine if your ACL has healed adequately for the doctors to decide if you can resume some activities.

  • Using Braces

Your doctor may also advise using a brace to keep your knee in a bent position for many weeks. After that, you can steadily increase movements under a physiotherapist’s supervision.

Who Can Undergo Non-Surgical ACL Treatment?

Apart from the injury’s severity, doctors consider a range of other factors while determining the suitability of non-surgical treatment options. Some potential candidates for conservative treatment include the following.

  • People beyond 50 years of age as surgery may increase complications.
  • People with health conditions like bleeding disorders or diabetes.
  • Smokers may also be recommended non-surgical ACL treatment.
  • People who don’t engage in sports involve twisting or pivoting the knee.

Although you have various non-invasive ways of treating an ACL injury, you must first get it diagnosed to know its severity. The doctor is the best person to tell you if you need surgery or not. Hence, you shouldn’t make a decision on your own but choose the right course of treatment after proper and comprehensive consultation. Visit Ranka Hospital if you’ve suffered from an ACL injury and are in a dilemma whether to go for surgery or go for non-surgical options. Our experts will examine your case and prescribe the right course of treatment. Call us at +91 – 20 – 24261530 for an appointment.

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