Can an Untreated ACL Tear Cause Future Injuries?
Life is more of a marathon than a sprint. Decisions we make today can affect us in the long term.
When you experience an ACL tear, you may be tempted to skip the doctor as long as you aren’t in too much pain. However, an ACL tear that is left untreated can cause future injuries.
The ACL stabilizes the knee. It plays a crucial role in our movements like changing direction, jumping, pivoting, or making sudden stops. There are several signs of an ACL tear that you should not ignore.
If an ACL tear is left untreated, it can cause future injuries such as
Damage to surrounding cartilage
In some cases, an untreated ACL tear can lead to a higher risk of total joint replacement.
Treatment for a torn ACL will depend on your injury level and activity level. Minor tears may heal with non-surgical treatment, but full ACL tears cannot heal without surgery. If you do not participate in activities that involve pivoting movements, physical therapy can help strengthen your muscles and stabilize the knee joint. However, in young athletes or active patients, surgery is recommended to prevent further injuries.
If you have experienced an ACL tear, you should have it evaluated to help avoid future injuries. Dr. Patel can provide you with an in-depth evaluation of your injury and discuss your goals and expectations of treatment considering your activity level.
Wherever you are in the marathon of life, don’t let an ACL injury keep you from finishing the race strong.
Dr. Ronak Patel is a Board-Certified Orthopedic Surgeon offering a full range of care for all knee and shoulder problems with a special interest in complex knee disorders.
At a Glance
Ronak M. Patel M.D.
- Double Board-Certified, Fellowship-Trained Orthopaedic Surgeon
- Past Team Physician to the Cavaliers (NBA), Browns (NFL) and Guardians (MLB)
- Published over 49 publications and 10 book chapters
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