The ACL is a commonly injured ligament in the knee. It is one of four main ligaments in the knee. We often hear about ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) injuries in college or professional athletes; however this injury can happen to any active person. Quite often it is the "weekend warrior" or high school athlete who injures the ACL. Not all ACL injuries will need ACL surgery. That decision will depend on the patient’s activity requirements and the amount of stability the knee maintains after the ACL injury.
Surgery Video Available: Click here to watch a video of Reconstructive Orthopaedics surgeon Dr. Kevin Shaw performing a live ACL reconstruction surgery.
How Can Reconstructive Orthopaedics Help?
As care experts with extensive experience in sports medicine, the Reconstructive Orthopaedics surgeons understand ACL surgery and implement the best treatment plans to achieve the best outcomes.
The diagnosis of an ACL tear is often easily made by listening to the patient’s history and performing a simple physical examination. Typically there is a "giving out" or twisting of the knee at the time of injury. Confirmation of the injury is done by the MRI scan, which shows all the bone and soft tissues of the knee. The orthopedic surgeon can discuss treatment options that are tailored to the individual patient.
Many times, however, in the active patient, there will be a requirement for ACL reconstruction surgery. This means a new ligament will be made to replace the torn ligament in the knee. A graft is used to make the new ACL at the time of ACL surgery. The graft commonly will come from the patient’s own knee by using hamstring tendons or a portion of the patellar tendon. A cadaver graft, which is a tendon from a tissue bank, can be purchased depending on the patient’s needs and desires.
If surgery is necessary, ACL reconstruction is a surgery commonly performed by the surgeons at Reconstructive Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine. This surgery is performed in the operating room, typically with a combination of general anesthesia and a regional femoral nerve block for postoperative pain control.
The operation is performed arthroscopically which provides the surgeon excellent visualization and access to the internal knee, while providing the patient a minimally invasive surgery with small incisions. The surgery lasts approximately an hour.
Sometimes there are other injuries in the knee such as cartilage injuries that occurred at the time of the violent twisting or pivoting knee injury. These cartilage injuries can be articular cartilage injuries or meniscal injuries. These injuries can be addressed at the time of the arthroscopic surgery.
The ACL surgery is done on an outpatient basis, so that the patient will be home and more comfortable the day of surgery. Postoperative pain management has allowed same day surgery to become the routine. Physical therapy will begin within days after surgery and will continue for a couple of months depending on the rate of healing.
Typically the patient will be ready to return to their active lifestyle about 6 months after surgery, but that will depend on the progress with knee rehabilitation. The orthopedic surgeon will modify this schedule as the recovery progresses at each patient’s own rate.
ACL surgery can lead to excellent outcomes when performed by experienced professionals, like the orthopedic surgeons at Reconstructive Orthopaedics. Our team will administer an effective and comprehensive treatment plan, assuring you of the highest level of care with the objective of getting you back to your normal activities as soon as possible.
Contact us or call our appointment line at 513-793-3933, and we will reserve the time and location that works best for you — we can usually schedule your appointment within 48 hours.