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I'm the latest member of the ACL injury club. I injured it landing awkwardly after a jump on Feb 22. It hurt for a moment on impact, but then I stood up and it seemed fairly stable, so I kept skiing. I iced it that night, but it didn't have any obvious swelling so I skied the next day, although I stayed on the groomers. The following week I had a little swelling and a few moments where it felt wobbly. I went to my local sports medicine doctor and she thought it might be sprained, do she sent me for an MRI. The MRI report said it was a a full tear but the MRI was a bit fuzzy in the ACL area.. I went to see a knee specialist last week and he thought I had a partial tear, since I had a firm "endpoint" when he manipulated my leg, so he sent me for a higher resolution MRI. That report came back and said I had a high grade partial MRI, but the knee specialist said he thought it looked like less than 50 %. Very slight contusion to the meniscus, and a moderate tibial contusion, but everything else looks fine. He recommended reconstruction with donor cadaver since I'm in my forties.

For the past few weeks I've been doing pt for the knee, including strengthening exercises, laser, IFC current, and ultrasound. I've also been doing the exercise bike and walking on the treadmill. It's fine going up stairs, and the initial minor nstability seems to be improving, but I have a slight limp and going downhill or down stairs feels weird. My hamstring is also sore from compensating. I have no need to ever go in the trauma park again, but I would like to return to skiing blacks and off the groomers next season. I also compete in three day eventing (horse triathalon) with horses and I need knee strength and stability for that.

I'm curious if anyone here has tried any alternatives to reconstruction, including the healing response (or microfracture) surgery, prp or collagen gel. Also, I've seen some studies that in some people with partial acl tears, the acl forms enough scar tissue that they lose the initial laxity and have a stable knee, and that you can usually tell by 6-12 weeks if this will happen. If I try to go without surgery, any idea how long before I could be fully back to normal activity? I've also read about "copers" who get along without an acl, but my understanding is that you are at somewhat higher risk of damaging the adjacent knee structures if you go this route and are very active. Also, any recommendations for knee specialists in northern California are more than welcome.