I'm sorry. That sucks.
I hope Claire sees this since she had good luck with conservative management. But Rudi was an older guy when his ACL went.
I don't blame you for wanting to avoid surgery, but if you decide that conservative management is too difficult to keep him still so it can completely heal and heal right, that makes sense, too.
Does UT have a canine physical therapist? Or a canine PT anywhere near you? A PT might be able to give you the pros and cons in a fairly neutral way.