I have torn/strained my MCL in my left knee, and then my ACL in my right knee not too long after that.
Both times the doctor told me that the ligaments were severely damaged to the point of almost being torn all the way through, and both times they told me that they could not operate on it.
They both told me that if an ACL/MCL/other ligament is damaged but not torn all the way through, that you just have to wait for it to heal itself.
They said that if it was torn all the way through that they could repair or replace it, but that was not the case for me.
So instead of getting surgery for the injuries I just did physical therapy and had to use crutches and a straight leg brace for a while.
Hope this was somewhat helpful.
Good luck with everything. Hope you heal soon.
You don't *have* to have surgery, but it is highly advisable as if you don't it would affect you for the rest of your life. It (the acl) is there for a reason.
Yea, the ligament doesn't heal well or at all on its on. If you do have to have surgery, don't worry though. They do the surgery laproscopically, and the initial recovery period is 2-3 weeks with some rehabilitation.