ACL reconstructive surgery is performed by replacing the torn ligament with a graft.
The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is the most commonly injured ligament in the knee. The ACL is located in the middle of the knee; it runs diagonally between the two bones preventing the tibia from sliding away from the femur and stabilizing the knee. An MRI is often ordered to evaluate the extent of the injury and to look for evidence of other concurrent injuries to the knee joint (i.e. meniscus tear or other knee ligamentous injury). Treatment for ACL injuries depends on many factors: the degree of injury, level of instability of the knee, the patient’s activity level and their medical history. Partially torn ACL injuries often have a favorable prognosis, and many patients do well with a recovery and rehabilitation program over the course of many months. If instability symptoms persist or the ACL is completely torn, ACL surgery is recommended. ACL surgery is generally performed by replacing the ligament with either an autograft (graft made from the patient’s own tissue) or allograft (graft taken from a cadaver); “repairing” a torn ACL is not common practice as they tend to fail over time. The reconstructive surgery is performed by fixating the graft to the bottom of the femur on one side and to the top of the tibia on the other side. Patients who have ACL reconstruction surgery can expect to have a brace and weight bearing restrictions after surgery. A formal physical therapy program is an important part of the rehabilitation process to maintain mobility, regain range of motion of the knee and strengthen the large muscle groups that help the knee move. It is important to keep in mind that the rehabilitation process takes six months or more to fully regain proper function and mobility of the affected knee.
As our patient, you will have an in-depth consultation with one of our doctors. We will create an individualized treatment plan together, tailored to your problem and lifestyle. Our doctors prefer non-invasive treatments whenever possible, including physical therapy and/or injections. If your problem ultimately does require surgery, our doctors prefer the least invasive surgical techniques possible. Our goals are the same as yours: to get you back to living your best life, pain free.