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Is ACL Surgery Necessary to Continue Playing Sports?

San Francisco sports medicine doctor, ACL doctor

Returning To Sports After ACL Construction Surgery

Deciding if you need ACL reconstruction surgery depends, in large part, on what activities you want to return to after treatment. If you’re an athlete whose sport is considered a high-demand sport, you will most likely require a functioning ACL. Even if your sport is considered moderate or low demand, you will most likely require a functioning ACL to perform at pre-injury capabilities. If you’ve experienced a sports injury, seek out a sports medicine doctor in San Francisco to help you decide what treatment is best for you. Here are some factors to consider when searching for an ACL tear specialist in San Francisco.

Athletes who participate in high-demand sports often require surgery after an ACL tear to return to participation. Athletes participating in low-demand sports may not need a fully intact ACL to return to competition. 

Sports that are considered high-demand sports require an intact ACL for performance. These are some examples of high-demand sports:

High-Demand Sports

Football Soccer

Basketball Skiing

Gymnastics Hockey (Ice and Field)

Wrestling Lacrosse

Rugby Singles Tennis


Other sports might not require an intact ACL because of moderate or low demand. Examples of these sports are:

Moderate-Demand Sports Low-Demand Sports

Baseball Running/Jogging

Doubles Tennis Cycling

Track (Field Events) Crew

Knee Instability

Knee instability is the sensation of the knee twisting or moving from side to side when doing basic activities, and is a symptom of an ACL tear. Athletes need to understand that knee instability can not be ignored. It is unlikely that someone who is experiencing knee instability will be able to participate in high-demand sports. Knee instability can also affect the ability to participate in moderate to low-demand sports.

The specific degree and expression of knee instability differs from person to person.  Therefore, each athlete must make decisions on how to proceed with their treatment and rehabilitation on an individual basis. ACL surgeons in the Bay Area can help you determine the pros and cons of each treatment option and help establish a progression that can help you return to your desired sport.

Deciding To Have Surgical Reconstruction

The decision to have surgery must be based on an individual athlete’s symptoms and expectations for future sports participation. Young high school and college athletes participating in high-risk sports would generally choose to have surgical reconstruction to return to their competitive activities.  Middle-aged fitness athletes who want to continue participating in cutting, twisting, and other high-impact activities should also consider surgery to safely return to their desired active lifestyle. A reputable ACL surgeon in San Francisco can help you determine if surgery is the best option for your circumstances.

Do You Wish to Speak With a San Francisco Sports Medicine Doctor About an Injury?

Have you experienced a sport injury that has resulted in knee instability? Contact us for a consultation by visiting our website HERE or calling (415) 923-0944.

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