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How Effective Are ACL Repair Surgeries?

Your anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) holds your knee bones in place and also provides your knee with much-needed stability. 

ACL damage happens when the ligament stretches beyond its limits and tears as a result. ACL tears are most common in athletes since so many sports require quick movements and changes in motion. Because your ACL is needed for knee stability, having a torn one can make it nearly impossible to put pressure on your knee and walk around. 

Most often, ACL repair surgery is the recommended course of action for an ACL tear, especially if you’re relatively young and active.

At the Valley Orthopedic Institute in Palmdale and Ridgecrest, California, expert orthopedic surgeons Anand Shah, MD, and Mehul Taylor, MD, perform ACL repair surgeries to help you get back on your feet after an ACL tear. 

This month’s blog examines why ACL tear surgery is necessary and what to expect when you get this surgery at our practice.

Why you need ACL repair surgery 

ACL repair surgery — also known as ACL reconstruction — is a necessary surgical procedure when you have a pretty significant ACL tear. If your ACL tear is slight and doesn’t cause undue knee instability, conservative treatments like physical therapy and the use of a knee brace may be enough to encourage the ligament to heal on its own.

However, a severe ACL tear can result in a lot of instability in your knee, causing it to slip and slide around. This makes it incredibly painful to walk. In addition, the damaged ACL can start to cause damage in other portions of knee cartilage, which can eventually lead to arthritis. 

These complications can be avoided through ACl repair surgery. 

What to expect during ACL repair surgery

Although it’s called ACL repair surgery, your ACL typically sustains too much damage to simply be stitched back together again. Instead, another tendon from your knee replaces and reconstructs the ACL. 

ACL repair surgery is done arthroscopically, meaning it’s done with tiny tools and a camera. This eliminates the need to open your knee up completely and shortens your recovery time. After you’re put under general anesthesia, our team drills bone holes in your tibia and femur to expose the damaged ACL. It’s then removed and replaced with the new tendon.

This surgery is an outpatient surgery, so you can expect to go home after your surgery is complete. You’ll need to stay off your knee and wear a brace while you heal from surgery.

Recovery from surgery may include physical therapy and other rehabilitation methods to regain strength and mobility in your knee.

Studies show that 85% of ACL repair surgeries are effective, allowing for your previous level of activity with no restrictions. 

Next steps

If you have an ACL tear or instability in your knee, don’t delay in meeting with our team to discuss your treatment options. Schedule a consultation at Valley Orthopedic Institute today by calling the nearest office location or booking online.