ZocdocAnswersDoes ACL surgery cause permanent damage to the knee?

Question

Does ACL surgery cause permanent damage to the knee?

I have to have surgery to repair an ACL injury. Will my knee ever be the same? Will I always have permanent damage from the surgery? I don't want to have a bad knee forever.

Answer

Sorry to hear of your knee injury. As you know ACL injuries are common, especially in those who play vigorous sports. Unfortunately, since the ACL tends to heal really poorly, serious ACL injuries often do require surgery in order to improve stability of the knee. The expected outcome from your knee surgery depends a lot on your current symptoms and how bad the ACL injury is. Therefore, the only person who can give you a clear picture of what to expect will be the orthopedic surgeon who will be performing the surgery. I suggest that you make an appointment with them to discuss all of these matters in detail prior to the surgery. Generally speaking, most people who have an ACL injury repaired surgically can expect significant improvement in knee pain and joint function, but it is unlikely that your knee will be back to "100%" after the surgery. However, this is something that your surgeon can comment on specifically. Also, make sure that you ask your surgeon about what the aftercare after the surgery will be like. One of the most important elements of getting the most out of the surgery is making sure that you do not engage in strenuous physical activity until your surgeon recommends that.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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