ACL and Ligament Repair/Reconstruction

What is ACL and ligament repair/reconstruction?

The anterior cruciate ligament is one of the major ligaments in your knee. Ligaments are the bands of fibrous tissue that connect bones, cartilage or joints. The ACL is one of two ligaments that cross in the middle of the knee and help stabilize the knee joint. It is most commonly injured during sudden stops or changes in direction. The ligament is crucial for starting, stopping, changing direction and landing.

ACL and ligament repair/reconstruction

ACL repair is intended to give you the best functioning knee possible. It is performed by suturing the torn ACL back together and does not require a donor graft source. This procedure keeps the ligament in place to promote self-healing. It results in a faster recover time and a reduced chance of arthritis in the future. This procedure may be combined with an orthobiologic therapy (such as stem cell therapy). Advancements in surgical techniques have made primary ACL repair more practical and feasible than in the past.

ACL reconstruction is a surgery to reconstruct the ligament in the center of your knee. During the procedure, the surgeon will remove the damaged ligament and replace it with a new one, which is called a graft. The graft can be made from a patient’s own tissues or from a deceased donor. ACL reconstruction has a high success rate but can take between 6-12 months for a full recovery.

What types of injuries are treated with ACL repair or reconstruction?

A partial or complete ACL tear is the injury for which one of these procedures may be required. If your desire is to continue to play sports that involve pivoting, running, etc., then ACL surgery will help to ensure you have stability in your knee during these activities.

Is ACL repair and reconstruction covered by insurance?

Most insurance plans, including Medicare and Medicaid, cover ACL surgery if it is medically necessary.

How quickly can I get back to my regular routine after ACL surgery?

ACL reconstruction can take 6-12 months for a full recovery. For most patients who elect for ACL repair, the recovery is made in about half the time.

Are there any side effects to ACL surgery?

With either surgery, risks are rare and can include bleeding or blood clots, continued knee pain and infection. If a reconstruction surgery involves tissue from a deceased donor, there is the possibility of the graft being rejected by your immune system.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact West Coast Orthopedics.

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