I have to say I disagree with the "CCL" comment. I am in NY and every hospital I have been to refers to it as an ACL.
In my experience most of the dogs who tear their ACL are overweight. The more overweight they are the more severe and persistent the problem is likely to be. If he is overweight getting him to lose the excess weight might help quite a bit.
Surgery really isn't an option I would do immediately if it were my dog- I would want to see if rest and anti-inflammatories would do the trick first. If those didn't work I would most likely evaluate how much money I had, versus the age of the dog, along with how much discomfort I thought the dog was in.
I have a Shetland Sheepdog who is 13 years old. She has what is likely to be a torn meniscus. We held off on the MRI our vet suggested (even though the vet is completely trustworthy) because I don't want to put such an old dog through the anesthesia an MRI would require...and because an MRI would be thousands of dollars before even getting a diagnosis.
An older dog is going to take more time to recover and will have a harder time with anesthesia IMO...and that isn't even taking into account the surgery itself that will cause him pain and discomfort until it heals.
Her leg definitely does bother her some but we are treating it day by day. Right now we just found out she has Splenic Nodules and thickening in her intestinal lining which may or may not be cancer so obviously now any surgery for the meniscus is not our primary concern.
Do what you feel in your heart to be right- for you'll be criticized anyway. You'll be ****ed if you do, and ****ed if you don't. - Eleanor Roosevelt