The new study looked at 100 patients who had ACL surgery versus and 43 patients who opted not to pursue surgery. The patients who opted for surgery were younger and more active (participated in more competitive sports) than the non-surgical group. Despite these differences, the non-surgically treated group was more able to get back to recreational sports in the first year. After two years, 30% of both patients with and without surgery had lost strength in the leg and 20% reported that they never got back to their pre-injury level of sports. The bottom line, there were few meaningful differences between these two groups over the first few years.

The upshot? The new research continues to support that getting an ACL surgery is not something that guarantees any kind of higher or better function for the knee. In addition, there’s a host of reasons as stated above not to get the surgery. In the end, we do not frequently recommend ACL surgeries to the vast majority of our patients, opting instead to use newer autologous biologic injections to heal the ACL.

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