It really depends on the extent of the tear.
I tore my ACL in 2010 and stayed off the mountain for 5 weeks. I slowly got back into it but did not even get physio. A few years on and I do get physio for musle inbalance and patella tracking issues caused by it. Those that have had the same injury get the same advice.
VMO (vastus medialis obliquus) exercises which will help your lateral stability and tracking. THATS what the knee brace is for. No it won't 'save you' but yes it will help with tracking so that if you do bump yourself around it wont do extra damage.
They can tell pretty easy from a set of x-rays with the knee in various positions including bend knees standing if there is much damage to the ligaments and if there is patella tracking issues. Specialists will generally not operate unless its really needed (ie your knee is not giving way when you walk) the human body is an amazing thing and can heal pretty well, even when you get to my age (30) but just take it easy and see someone if things aren't getting better.
Have you had x-rays to assess the extent of the tear?
I ride: NS Pandora 146 + Salomon Absolute premium Bindings
Stepchild PMS 149 + Nitro Eris Bindings +15 -15
Nike ZF1 5.5 & K2 Contour 5.
Last edited by Soggysnow; 04-10-2013 at 11:42 PM.