I’ve been grappling with my ACL Tear (Left Knee) for many years now. I had torn my ACL while playing soccer back in High School. I never really got around to getting my ACL Reconstructed, for the sheer fact that it takes an entire year to recover from an ACL surgery, and even after that, there’s no guarantee that your knee will be the same as before.
In an ACL Reconstruction surgery, they are basically taking one part of your body (Hamstring Tendon or Patellar Tendon) to repair the other part of your body. So in essence, it is a zero-sum game, because YES, you can get your ACL Reconstructed and make your knee more stable, but you’ll be making you Hamstring, which is already weak to begin with, even weaker. This could cause some serious problems down the road. Especially as you grow older.
The core function of the ACL is to basically keep the knee stable, and enable rapid movements (turns, side-to-side, etc…). So if you’re willing to forego activities that involve heavy knee movements, i.e. Soccer, Football, Tennis, etc…, you’ll be just fine and you can carry on with your regular life as normal. Even with a torn ACL, you’ll still be able to run (straight) as fast as you can, jump as high as you can, and walk like nothing ever happened.
Here are some alternatives to ACL Reconstruction Surgery:
Instead of surgery, we need to focus on is strengthening the muscles around the knee; i.e. Quadriceps and Calves. Doing lots of leg exercises like Squats, Lunges, Calf Raises, Leg-Curls, etc… will help you strengthen these muscles, and as a result, compensate for the torn ACL.
Using a knee brace will enable you to play the sports you love. Though you wont be able to move as fluidly as you used to, prior to the ACL tear, you can still enjoy what you love, without having to worry about twisting your weak knee and experiencing the excruciating pain that comes with it.
Note: If you have a partially torn ACL, you don’t need to worry about any of this. Just do a lot of leg exercises, some physical therapy sessions, and you’ll be back on the field in no time.
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