Valley Orthopedic Institute
Board Certified Orthopedic Surgeons & Hand Surgeons located in Palmdale, CA & Ridgecrest, CA
The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is injured more often than the other ligaments in your knee joint, and when it's torn, chances are you need an ACL repair. Anand Shah, MD, Mehul Taylor, MD, and the team at Valley Orthopedic Institute have extensive experience performing minimally invasive arthroscopic surgery to reconstruct your ACL, restoring optimal strength and stability to the joint. To schedule an appointment, call the office in Palmdale or Ridgecrest, California, or use the online booking feature today.
ACL Repair Q & A
What causes an ACL tear?
The ACL runs crosswise through your knee joint, connecting your lower thigh (femur) with the upper shinbone (tibia). This ligament has the important job of holding the bones in place and preventing the tibia from moving away from the femur. The ACL also gives your knee rotational stability.
ACL tears most often occur during movements that are common in sports like football, basketball, and soccer. You may injure the ACL when you:
- Make a sudden stop
- Change directions quickly
- Land from a jump incorrectly
- Pivot or sidestep
- Stop abruptly while running
- Overextend your knee while running
You can also tear the ACL if you take a direct hit to the side of your knee.
What symptoms indicate I may need an ACL repair?
When your ACL tears, you may hear a popping noise and experience one or more of the following:
- Knee instability
- Loss of movement
- Difficulty walking
- Knee buckling
- Tenderness at the joint
About half of those who suffer an ACL tear also sustain other injuries in the knee joint at the same time.
When will I need an ACL repair?
If you have a partial ACL tear and the knee joint is stable, your provider may recommend nonsurgical treatment. For example, you may need bracing and physical therapy.
However, chances are you will need surgery to repair the ACL if you have a partial tear with joint instability or you want to return to athletic activities. A fully ruptured ligament won’t regain optimal strength without an ACL repair.
Even if your provider recommends surgery, you still begin your treatment with physical therapy to restore the knee's range of motion. People who have an ACL repair while the knee has limited movement have a hard time regaining full motion after surgery.
When you're ready for surgery, Valley Orthopedic Institute examines and repairs the ACL using minimally invasive arthroscopic surgery.
What happens during ACL repair?
An ACL repair is different from other ligament repairs. Your provider can't simply stitch the two ends together because the ACL won't heal properly. Instead, your provider reconstructs the ligament by replacing it with a tendon.
The tendon may come from your body or a donor graft. When using your own tissues, the team at Valley Orthopedic Institute often takes a small piece of tendon from a kneecap or hamstring tendon.
Then your provider anchors the tendon in your thigh and shinbone, recreating the position and angle of the original ligament.
If you develop knee pain and instability, call Valley Orthopedic Institute or book an appointment online today.
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