Degenerative Healing of an ACL Tear – Case 8

ACL Online Therapy for natural healing

The case reports of ACL natural healing

Patient Information:

55 years old, female, Japanese

Mechanism of injury:

On March 7, 2022, while skiing, she fell with her right ski stuck in the snow.

Progress after injury:

She was taken to an emergency hospital on the day of the accident, where X-rays showed no fractures. The next day, she visited a local orthopedic clinic, where joint fluid was removed through aspiration. An MRI on March 15 revealed the following diagnosis:

Complete ACL tear of the right knee (proximal 1/3 tear with separation of the torn ends, classified as Type III according to Ihara’s classification).

From April 18, 2022, she started online therapy with Jun Matsumoto. She received regular online treatments for four months, and a follow-up MRI was conducted on August 17. During this period, she did not wear any functional braces.

The second MRI did not show clear healing of the torn ACL. However, the tension in the tibial side suggested possible healing at a non-original location. Therapy continued, and a third MRI was conducted on November 11.

The third MRI also did not show clear natural healing of the torn ACL. However, a comprehensive examination of the sagittal and coronal images suggested that the tibial end had healed to the lateral wall of the intercondylar notch. Online treatment was stopped, and PRP injection therapy was started. Another MRI was conducted on August 31, 2023.

Since the ACL had already healed to the lateral wall, natural healing to its original location could not be confirmed.

Discussion:

In this case, the torn ACL could not heal naturally in an ideal manner. The result was a deformed healing to the lateral wall of the intercondylar notch. Functionally, the knee joint was stable, and the patient reported no issues in daily life. Despite not recommending braces for this patient, braces are now recommended for all subsequent patients.

References:

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