Page ContentACL Injury Treatment OptionsThe ACL is one of four ligaments in the knee and is critical for knee stability. In many cases, the optimal treatment is an ACL reconstruction to maintain this stability. In ACL reconstruction, the torn ligament is “replaced” with either your own tissue (autograft) or donor tissue (allograft). There are positives and negatives to each type of graft and these are discussed under the section titled ACL Graft Choices.Not all ACL tears require surgery. Some people are able to live their lives normally without having their ACL reconstructed. However, many others have pain, instability, swelling and other symptoms that may require more invasive treatment options. The decision to have your ACL reconstructed is based on several factors:Do you perform activities that require a functional ACL?Do you experience instability or “giving way” symptoms?What are your future goals to return to sport?Are there any other injuries to your knee?ACL reconstruction is beneficial as knee stability is restored and damage to the meniscus can be decreased. The meniscus is an important structure that acts as a “shock absorber” and protects the cartilage on the ends of the bones. As such, some believe ACL reconstruction may slow the progression or development of arthritis.