Originally Posted by drschemel
You will get all sorts of "advice" so take this for what it's worth.
^^ excellent write up! And the same goes for my post regarding online advice! There has been a lot of research recently looking at those that can function with and without an ACL (copers vs non-copers). Major predictors for being able to return to high level function without requiring ACL reconstruction include: normal range of motion, no or minimal knee swelling (sounds like you're not fitting this category), good quad strength, good static and dynamic balance (proprioception), and no episodes of the knee giving way. These are just guidelines though and a decision should be made after discussing pros/cons with your surgeon. Most people opt for the surgery because return to high level function afterwards is high. Return to high level function postop is variable (Adrian Peterson vs Derrick Rose) and dependent on many factors but research indicates that going into surgery with full ROM, good quad strength, and minimal swelling helps the rehab process. Below is a powerpoint that covers the topic and explains a lot.
Good luck and don't half-a** the rehab!!