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Why Knee Surgery May Not Be the Best Option for Your Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Injury?

Published: May 4, 2021

Does This Describe YOU?

  • Did you know the ACL can heal?
  • Have you recently ruptured your Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) and been told you need surgery?
  • Do you want to get back to your chosen sport a soon as possible?
  • Are you worried about the risks, costs and complications of knee surgery and want to know if there is a possible non-surgical option.


If so, you will be pleased to know new research shows reconstruction surgery may not be necessary for your ACL injury, which is why we developed the “Stay in the Game - Non-Surgical Return to Sport Program”.

This comprehensive Physiotherapist designed post injury rehabilitation program, may help you avoid surgery, save money on medical costs, and eliminate the risk of post op infection – whilst still allowing safe and rapid return to sport.

Where is the Proof Surgery May Not Be Required for my ACL Injury?

A recent study from Japan showed the ACL has a high healing capacity with 80 out of 102 patients having an ACL rupture which healed without surgery.

In 2018, Kelepi Tanginoa, a Manly Rugby League player in the NRL, tore his Medial and Anterior Cruciate Ligaments and was placed in a brace so the medial ligament could heal.  Six weeks later he had another MRI showing both ligaments had healed.  He played 8 weeks after the MRI and is still playing.

Studies* have also shown that athletes have better outcomes in 5 years if they wait till 3 months post-injury before deciding to have surgery or not, compared to early surgery and rehabilitation.

There are 3 Phases to this approach:

Weeks 1-8: Inflammatory phase

  • Reduce pain and swelling
  • Restore range of motion
  • Restore function and begin rehab

Weeks 9-16: Strength Phase

  • Improve strength and major muscle groups and optimize movement patterns

Weeks 17-24: Return to Sport Preparation

  • Practice jumping, landing change of direction
  • Progressive return to sport

FREE Suitability Assessment

If you have a recent ACL injury and want to know if you are suitable for the “Stay in the Game – Non-Surgical Return to Sport Program” contact Back in Motion Balnarring on 03 59 831 021 or email  


# Marangoni et al 2018, OJSpMed, Vol 16, issue 12

* Filbay et al BJSpMed Volume 51 Issue 12

^ Ihara et al JCAT December 2016