Rehab-first promising for amateur athlete ACL tear

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July 22, 2010 9:07:51 AM PDT
A new study finds that physical therapy first could be a good option for athletes who suffer a common knee injury.

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

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