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Can a Ruptured ACL Heal Itself?

is commonly injured in sports involving twisting, turning, jumping, landing and rapid change of direction.

The traditional approach to management of an ACL injury has been to reconstruct the ligament, usually with a donor site from else in the body.

In recent times there has been more of a trend towards non-operative management for some patients, with studies demonstrating comparable outcomes from rehabilitation in ACL-deficient knees

Over the last few years, there have been an increasing number of case reports of spontaneous healing of the ligament without surgery (Filbay et al.)

Allyson presented to Club 360 in February 2021 with a diagnosis of a full ACL rupture.

Following a shared decision-making process, Allyson decided to trial a course of non-operative rehabilitation

Allyson worked hard on her rehabilitation and prior to relocating to Australia in November, she had regained full mobility, strength and function of the knee. At this stage she was happy with her non-operative outcomes.

Allyson went for a check up with a Sydney orthopedic surgeon, who was happy with her stability and function, but decided to do another MRI.This scan demonstrated spontaneous healing of the ACL!!!

These reports of spontaneous ACL healing give even further weight to the notion that many patients may be better off trialing a course of non-operative management prior to considering reconstruction.

Filbay, S., Roemer, F., Lohmander, S., Turkiewicz, A., Roos, E. M., Frobell, R., & Englund, M. (2022). SPONTANEOUS HEALING OF THE RUPTURED ANTERIOR CRUCIATE LIGAMENT: OBSERVATIONS FROM THE KANON TRIAL. Osteoarthritis and Cartilage, 30, S21-S22.

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