When it comes to knee injuries, anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) sprains and tears are the most common and among the most debilitating. They often require surgical repair to restore pre-injury strength. The board-certified orthopaedists at Pro Sports and Elite Rehab offer customized ACL repairs and rehabilitation, ensuring you have the best chance of getting back in the game and avoiding future joint problems. If you need expert care for an ACL injury, call the office in Vero Beach, Florida, today, or book an appointment online.
Deciding if you need ACL surgery depends on the severity of the damage and your activity goals. You may choose nonsurgical rehabilitation if you have a partial ACL tear and don’t plan to participate in high-impact sports.
You will need surgery if you have a completely ruptured ligament, a partial rupture with joint instability, or you want to lower your risk of ongoing joint instability. Surgery is also essential if you want to restore optimal strength and return to the same level of athletic activity you enjoyed before your injury.
The ACL gives your knee joint rotational stability and connects the femur (thigh bone) to the tibia (shin bone), keeping them from slipping apart inside the joint.
You may damage this ligament by taking a direct hit to your knee or by overextending the joint. However, ACL tears most often occur during movements such as:
Your risk of suffering an ACL injury is higher if you participate in high-demand sports like football, soccer, basketball, and skiing.
The timing of your ACL repair has an impact on your long-term results. It’s important for the inflammation to go down before surgery or you may develop excessive scarring that causes pain and restricts joint movement.
Surgery for a ruptured ACL typically occurs 3-6 weeks after your injury.
Surgical repair involves stitching the pieces together, carefully closing the two ends so they regrow into one ligament. This type of repair may be a good choice for some patients, depending on the type of ACL injury and their activity goals.
However, the gold standard for a torn ACL is ligament reconstruction. This technique restores maximum strength and stability by replacing the ligament with a tendon.
During your surgery, your provider removes the ACL and takes a piece of your patellar, hamstring, or quadriceps tendon. After drilling holes in the tibia and femur, they thread the tendon graft through the holes and secure it to each bone.
You follow an exercise regimen at home until your provider clears you to start physical therapy and rehabilitation. The process of restoring strength, range of motion, and the neuromuscular control needed for balance takes about 4-6 months. Most people can return to competitive sports in six months.
To learn more about ACL repair, call Pro Sports and Elite Rehab or request an appointment online today.