Can one Play Sports with a Torn ACL?

A torn ACL is a very painful, yet common injury for many people, especially athletes and others involved in sports. Some ACL tears might be treated with non-surgical methods, lifestyle changes, rest or physiotherapy whereas others might need surgery.

With a rise in the number of ACL injuries in the past couple of years, it is important to stay informed and educated on the dangers of ACL injuries and what you should not do if you have an ACL tear.

Unfortunately, the sad news here is that a person with a torn ACL is advised not to play sports with the ACL injury. A person with ACL tear should consult their doctors and consider ACL reconstruction surgery to repair the damage and come out fresh and healthy. After the ACL reconstruction surgery, the patient can resume a normal lifestyle within 4 to 6 weeks.


Why should you not play sports with a torn ACL?


It is not that a person with an ACL tear “cannot” play sports. If you have an ACL tear, you can play sports or indulge in physical activities involving leg and knee motion, but he definitely should not. There are several reasons why you should not be playing sports with an ACL tear, including-


  • A torn ACL does not heal on its own without surgery and playing sports may worsen the condition. Expert orthopedic surgeons have great skills and efficiency in repairing a torn ACL with a surgery. No amount of bed-rest and relaxation will repair the ligament on its own. You will need a surgery to reconstruct the torn ACL and resume your normal lifestyle.
  • A torn ACL will expose the meniscus to further damage. The meniscus is the cartilage of the knee. When the ACL is torn, the meniscus cartilage is directly exposed to more damage. This is why a person with an ACL tear is likely to have a torn meniscus simultaneously. Once the meniscus gets damaged, it is more difficult to repair. This is why orthopedic doctors always suggest the patient undergo ACL surgery without delay.
  • If the meniscus gets damaged, it can possibly lead to knee osteoarthritis. Delaying treatment for a torn ACL or playing sports with an ACL tear will open the meniscus up to damage. The person also puts himself at a higher chance of arthritis. Arthritis is the condition of inflammation and tenderness of the joints. It is an extremely uncomfortable condition and can highly affect the person’s quality of life and severely hampers one in doing the sports of his or her choice.

In any circumstances, you should not play sports with a torn ACL. Doing that, you are seriously risking your overall longevity of your body. Undergo ACL reconstruction surgery from the best orthopedic surgeons to enjoy your life to the fullest, without the fear of pain and consequences.


What are the benefits of undergoing ACL reconstruction surgery?

Choosing whether or not to undergo ACL reconstruction surgery can be a difficult decision. You may hear that ACL tears can heal without surgery on its own but it is not true. A torn ligament cannot possibly heal on its own or grow back to its normal self without surgery. If your doctor has suggested you undergo surgery, it might be best for you to undergo ACL surgery as soon as possible, to prevent any further damage.

Benefits of ACL surgery include-

  • Reconstruct the torn ACL
  • Restore normal knee functionality
  • Prevent any damage to the knee cartilage
  • Provide support to the ACL
  • Allows you to return to sports and other daily activities which are to be avoided with a torn ACL.

Can you play sports after ACL reconstruction surgery?

Absolutely yes. ACL reconstruction is  generally needed in case  the patient gets no relief from non-surgical methods or in case the ACL is completely torn. ACL reconstruction surgery is performed to reconstruct the torn ACL. You can resume your normal lifestyle, and enjoy your sports after you heal from the ACL reconstruction surgery. In 4 to 6 weeks after ACL surgery, you will be able to carry out usual errands without any discomfort or inconvenience.