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Treatments for ACL Tears and Injuries

Doctors can treat ACL injuries with both surgical and nonsurgical methods. The type of treatment will vary from person to person.

At the UPMC Sports Medicine ACL Program, we base your treatment on many factors, including:

  • The extent of injury to your ACL. This also includes injuries to other parts of the knee, such as bone fractures or ligament or cartilage damage.
  • Your age.
  • Your activity level.

Both ACL treatments focus on:

  • Restoring the range of motion in the knee.
  • Making the knee stable.
  • Managing or easing pain.
  • Limiting your activity level during the early phases of your knee injury.

 Nonsurgical ACL Treatments

While partial or complete ACL tears may need surgery, sometimes other treatments can help with recovery and long-term management.

Nonsurgical ACL treatments may include:

  • Physical therapy
  • Bracing
  • Muscle strengthening exercises
  • Anti-inflammatory drugs

 Surgery for ACL Tears

A full ACL tear will not heal on its own.

ACL surgery might be the best choice if you want to stay active or play sports that involve cutting or pivoting like:

  • Football
  • Basketball
  • Soccer

In ACL reconstruction surgery, doctors rebuild the ligament using tissue from your body or a donor's. Without surgery, your knee may not be stable and put you at risk for future injuries.

Despite which treatment, prompt and effective management of a torn ACL is vital to prevent long-term issues such as:

  • Instability.
  • Loss of strength in the knee.
  • Osteoarthritis.
  • Knee weakness or other changes that limit you from pursuing your desired daily activity level.

A Tailored Approach to Treating ACL Injuries

UPMC Sports Medicine knee surgeons work with each person on a one-on-one basis.

We'll then decide:

  • The best type of ACL treatment based on your goals and the details of your injury.
  • The ideal timing of treatment, so you get the best possible results.
  • Your recovery and rehab needs before and after surgery if you need it.

Learn More About ACL Injury Treatment

Contact the UPMC Sports Medicine ACL Program today to learn more or make an appointment.