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A 44-year-old member asked:

if i have an acl tear, will i ever be able to play competitive football again?

3 doctor answers8 doctors weighed in
Dr. John Ayres
Orthopedic Surgery 37 years experience
It depends.: If you have an ACL tear you should have it reconstructed or avoid playing contact sports. Even with a good ACL brace, the knee is prone to instability wtih pivoting and cutting. When this occurs the knee subluxes and the meniscus can be torn increasing the risk of arthritis later on. If the ACL is reconstructed, the knee will never be the same as it was, but you can play with less risk.
Dr. Barry Waldman
Orthopedic Surgery 29 years experience
Yes: Most athletes are able to return to their sport after successful ACL reconstruction.
Dr. James Chen
Sports Medicine 15 years experience
Yes: One large study showed that nfl football players returned to play at an average of 11 months after surgery for acl reconstruction. The level of performance was not has high but that varied according to position, with quarterback having the highest level of performance compared to pre-injury.

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A 27-year-old member asked:

Why is recovery time for an ACL injury so long?

3 doctor answers9 doctors weighed in
Dr. Vasu Brown
Integrative Medicine 34 years experience
ACl heals upto 9 mo: When you have ACL reconstruction, a new ligament is created and held in your knee with screws or other fixation devices. The ACL then has to heal in this position in order to withstand repetitive stresses associated with sports activities. The problem with any type of ACL graft fixation method is that, if repeatedly stressed before the graft has healed in position, the fixation will fail.
CA
A 34-year-old member asked:

Can you get an ACL injury from anything besides sports?

4 doctor answers14 doctors weighed in
Dr. Mark Diamond
Pediatrics 46 years experience
Sure: Unfortunately, something as simple as slipping upon an ice patch or stepping in a pothole with the knee twisting the wrong way can cause ACL injuries.
A 34-year-old member asked:

Is running on a treadmill bad for me if I tore my ACL a year ago?

2 doctor answers5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Edward Neilsen
Family Medicine 19 years experience
Not necessarily: As long as you have rehabed the musclesof your thighs (quads and hamstrings) running should not be a problem. Elliptical machines and bicycles may feel better though. If choosing to cycle, make sure the seat is adjusted propely - leg should almost fully extend when pedal is down, but the knee should not ever lock.
A 45-year-old member asked:

How long does it take to heal from ACL reconstruction?

3 doctor answers6 doctors weighed in
Dr. Vishal Shah
Orthopedic Surgery 19 years experience
5-12 months, varies: This is highly variable depending on other injuries in the knee, the activity level you are returning to, and the type of surgery/graft choice used to replace your acl. In general, daily activities and sedentary work can be resumed in 2-6 weeks. Full healing of the graft varies from 6 months to 2 years. Most sports can be resumed at 6-9 months, but normal strength and function may take longer.
A 43-year-old member asked:

How can I strengthen my MCL and acl?

2 doctor answers8 doctors weighed in
Dr. Allen Lu
Dr. Allen Luanswered
Orthopedic Surgery 24 years experience
You cannot: The mcl and acl ligaments are structures that develop on their own. They cannot be strengthened with exercises or training. You can, however, strengthen supporting muscles such as the quads and hamstrings that control motion through the knee.

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Last updated Sep 28, 2016

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