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Child Orthopedics
Spine - Cervical
Spine - Lumbar
Spine - Thoracic

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I injured my anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in a pick-up game of basketball. I opted not to have surgery and try to rehab it instead. Is this a bad idea?

Doctors may advise a wait-and-see approach for some patients. If the knee is stable and the ligament isnít ruptured, a rehab program works well. The patient must be motivated and stick to the program during and after the healing process for it to work. There is always the risk of reinjury without surgery to repair the torn ligament. Studies from the University of Omaha offer some new information on this. A three-dimensional (3-D) system to study walking (gait) patterns was used. Three groups were included: people with normal knees and patients with a torn ACL with or without repair. They found changes only for those patients who didnít have the torn ligament repaired. The muscles on either side of the knee change how and when they contract in order to protect the knee. The lower leg bone (tibia) rotates in instead of out during part of the gait cycle. Changes in simple activities such as walking with an unrepaired ACL can result in more damage to the joint and bone. These researchers will carry out more studies with this updated technology. Studies to look at exercise and rehab programs are next.


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