If a doctor suspects ACL damage to the knee, surgery is not always required, according to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. The treatment required depends on the amount of damage as well as the patient's lifestyle.
In some cases rehabilitation is sufficient to treat ACL damage, notes the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. Often a knee brace is an effective tool used to support the knee. The best candidates for nonsurgical intervention are people who live fairly sedentary lifestyles, people who have partial tears and people who have no instability symptoms. Doctors may also treat complete tears with rehabilitation when a person has no instability symptoms and is willing to give up high-demand sports. When surgery is performed, the goal is to restore stability and function to the knee.