Confusion reigns after advice- no op needed on acl
Basically I’m a 21 yr old student playing semi pro footballer (soccer) with a view to giving it a real go after i graduate next yr. I got injured back in feb during a game. a reckless tackle from behind with my foot still planted on the ground. I felt extreme pain for a few seconds and after that the swelling took hold. anyhow im sure you all know the process. they say the worst part of getting injured is uncertainty, ill testify to that. My initial diagnosis was from the nhs, i had an mri scan about 3 weks after the injury and the knee was still slightly swollen. the doctor said a partial tear of the acl was the problem but advised against immeadiate sugery suggesting it may recover on its own. Positively he said there was no damage to any other structures within the knee. so i left things, attending physio frequently attempting to build up the now very weak muscles in my right leg in a bid to make pre-season on june 22nd. though the knee improved i felt no real confidence in it and wasnt able to run either due to muscle weakness, mental hesitation or the knee itself. I didnt want to risk any further damage by trying to attend pre season when i wasnt ready so i decided to see a knee specialist down in london, from the london knee clinic reccomended on this very site. i asked the doctor to send down mri (from scotland) which they eventually did. that is when the confusion began. The report attached to the mri now said that a complete tear was most likely “upon second viewing, and consulting the knee specialist”. I was pretty shocked and angry, since if that were the case an operation would be a must (from all i have read on this topic) and i had wasted months of recovery time. i took the scan and report to the knee specialist in london confident he could clear the confusion, his cv was formidable. He was unhappy with the fluid still in the knee at the time of the 1st scan and suggested i took another. this i gladly did. He reported that he felt a partial tear was the initial injury, with very minor damage to the pcl and that the acl showed a stronger signal in the 2nd mri. further that having an operation now would put me back months, and that it wasnt needed, he was “99%” confident of the ligament would recover by itself given time suggesting that problems arose when peple try to return to sport too quickly. a return to football roughly a year after the injury was his advice.
Most articles on the net and almost all posts in here suggest its a grave error not to have an operation if competing in a high demand sport like football. but the advice given was with great confidence and I felt like he knew this subject inside out. No matter how hard i try doubt still lingers in my mind, the worst case senaro would be to wait for a year then break down again, unbearable. if the knee specialist in london is correct then can so many articles be wrong? I know you get different degrees of the injury but i can believe mine was minor if i could be mistaken for a complete rupture. I’ve yet to start running and its almost 6 months to the day. Any thoughts, suggestions or comments are welcome!!