Estimated read time: 1-2 minutes
A type of knee injury that's familiar to many athletes may not always require surgery right away. Hi, I'm Dr. Cindy Haines, host of HealthDay TV. Injuries to the anterior cruciate ligament in the knee - also known as the ACL - are most common in young people who are physically active. These injuries can lead people to become less active and have trouble using their knee. ACL tears are commonly repaired with surgery, and more than 200,000 ACL reconstructions are done each year. A new study in the New England Journal of Medicine followed 121 young, active adults with ACL injuries. Some of them began rehabilitation for their knee and also had surgical reconstruction of the ligament soon after the injury. The rest had rehab, but put off surgery until later if necessary. After two years, both groups had similar improvements in pain, symptoms, ability to perform sports and recreational activities, and knee-related quality of life. By reserving the surgery as a later option, more than half of ACL reconstructions might be avoided without compromising results, according to the researchers. But as another expert pointed out in the journal, these injuries should be handled on a case-by-case basis. IÕm Dr. Cindy Haines of HealthDay TV, with the news that doctors are reading; health news that matters to you.