ACL Tear and Reconstruction
Knoxville’s Best Choice for ACL Tear and Reconstruction Surgery in Eastern Tennessee
ACL Tear and Reconstruction
A patient with an ACL tear generally will have an experience with some type of twisting injury or their knee buckles, they may hear a pop, and the knee will swell up. Generally, the telltale symptoms patients experience are pain and instability.
HOW IS AN ACL TEAR DIAGNOSED?
Generally, physical exam findings are consistent with knee laxity, swelling, and the history that also goes along with it. And to confirm the diagnosis, we will get an MRI scan and then go over the results. We base the treatment on the patient’s activity and function level.
WHAT ARE MY TREATMENT OPTIONS FOR AN ACL TEAR?
Different options for treatment can include anywhere from nonoperative treatment, to knee replacement to ACL reconstruction. Treatment will depend on the severity of your injury as well as your age and activity levels.
WHAT IS ACL RECONSTRUCTION SURGERY?
Generally, this surgery is a reconstruction, meaning that you don’t repair the ligaments side to side, but you use some other type of tissue to reconstruct and make a new ligament to take the place of the ACL. The surgery is usually an arthroscopic, outpatient surgery.
In ACL reconstruction surgery, a new ACL is made from a graft of replacement tissue from one of these two places:
- From the patient’s hamstring, quadriceps, or patellar tendon
- From allografts, which are tissues from a human organ donor
For each patient, a different type of graft is chosen based on their needs.
ACL RECONSTRUCTION VS. ACL REPAIR
The most common surgical treatment for ACL tears right now is ACL reconstruction. Most of the time, this procedure involves putting a graft, or piece of tissue, in the knee, and is done through a minimally invasive surgery with small incisions, known as arthroscopy.
On the other hand, ACL repair is the more traditional technique to fix a torn ACL, which includes sewing the torn tissue back together with sutures instead of using a graft to rebuild it. This procedure can also be done arthroscopically. However, people of all ages seem to have failure rates between 5 and 10 times higher with ACL repair than with ACL reconstruction.
HOW LONG IS THE RECOVERY FROM ACL RECONSTRUCTION SURGERY?
The recovery can range anywhere from six to nine months, depending on how quickly the rehab process goes. Physical therapy will play a large role in your recovery and it’s important to remember to follow your physician’s instructions as this will help speed along your recovery.
WILL I BE ABLE TO RETURN TO MY NORMAL ACTIVITIES AFTER ACL RECONSTRUCTION?
Most patients can go back to their normal level of activity without any restrictions. However, a full return may not be possible for certain patients due to pain, swelling, persistent weakness, a change in lifestyle due to age, a deliberate choice, or some other cause.
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