Dr. Johnson explains if it is necessary for a woman to have surgery if her anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is torn.
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Surgery is not required for all people that tear their ACL. Surgery is really indicated, it’s really almost a lifestyle decision that we make for these people. So if you are going to do ACL-dependent activities, which is the term we use in the medical profession--golf can be considered ACL-dependent, tennis, soccer, basketball, volleyball. If you really think, it’s pretty easy to explain, if you think about an activity that you do that you have to plant your leg and cut to the left or to the right. So if we think about soccer, racquetball, handball, golf or any type of activity we do where we have to stop and start real quick. So you got to stop on a dime on your leg. Then those two things–turning left or right, stopping or starting, you’d really need your ACL to have at that time. So if a female is going to want to do those type of things, then it is recommended that we go ahead and perform an ACL reconstruction, irrespective if that female is 14 or if the female is 60. I think that’s very important. It’s just because you are over 40 and you are perceived as being older, it does not really fit into our definition of whether you need to have your ACL fixed or not. It’s really a lifestyle thing and what you want to do on your knee.