Rehab-first approach promising for amateur athlete ACL tear

Wednesday, July 21, 2010 | 7:30 p.m. CDT; updated 7:53 p.m. CDT, Wednesday, July 21, 2010

NEW YORK — A new study finds that physical therapy first could be a good option for amateur athletes who suffer a common knee injury.

The study looked at Swedish amateur athletes with a torn ACL, or anterior cruciate ligament. The ACL is crucial for knee stability.

Researchers found that of those who had rehab first, less than half needed surgery within two years. Those who needed surgery later suffered no harm from delaying it, compared to athletes who had the surgery first followed by rehab. The study's author said the findings don't apply to professional athletes who need to get back in the game right away.

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