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Child Orthopedics
Spine - Cervical
Spine - Lumbar
Spine - Thoracic

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I have a partial tear of the ACL in my knee. What are my chances for recovery if I try to rehab it without the surgery?

Studies show the long-term results depend on the amount of injury. If the tear is more than halfway through the ligament you have more than a 50 percent chance of further injury. The torn ligament can tear the rest of the way and you'll have a complete tear.

The risks have been reported as follows:

  • 25 percent tears = 12 percent risk of reinjury and worse tear
  • 50 percent tears = 50 percent risk of complete tear
  • 75 percent tears = 86 percent risk of complete tear

    It's not uncommon to have further joint damage when a ligament is reinjured. The meniscus and joint cartilage can get damaged too. The end result is joint degeneration years later.

    Talk to your doctor about the extent of your ligament damage. Find out what your options are and the odds of success with each one. Your decision will depend in part on how active you are or would like to be in years to come. Athletes with sports participation in mind are often advised to have a surgical repair. Less active folks may decide to rehab without surgical repair.

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    *Disclaimer:*The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.

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