Anterior cruciate ligaments: 30 per cent of ACL injuries heal without surgery

About 30 per cent of tears in the anterior cruciate ligament that supports the knee heal within two years with strengthening exercises, challenging the common assumption that surgery is always needed


9 November 2022

Illustration of a tear in an anterior cruciate ligament

Injuries of the anterior cruciate ligament are common in sports that involve a lot of twisting of the knee


Some 30 per cent of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears heal within two years without knee surgery. This finding challenges the long-standing assumption that these ligaments won’t mend themselves if ruptured, and letting the injuries heal without surgery could be an option for some people.

The ACL straddles the knee to connect bones in the leg – the tibia in the shin to the femur in the thigh. Injuries to it …

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