An injury of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), which is a stabilizing ligament in the knee, may require surgery depending on how severe the tear is. If the ACL is only partially torn, it will likely be able to heal on its own; if the injury is a full tear, it will likely need to be fixed surgically, because the two torn ends will not heal together correctly.
Because of its vulnerable location directly behind the kneecap and in front of the posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) – which forms an “X” shape with the ACL, thus the name “cruciate” – the ACL is one of the most commonly injured parts of the knee. Severe pain, swelling, and instability are just some of the symptoms of a torn ACL.
Treating an ACL injury involves taking a break from sports and other high-risk activities to rest the knee so it can make a full recovery. A torn ACL can range in severity from a minor sprain to a full tear.
Knee Surgery for a Torn ACL
An ACL tear often requires joint reconstruction surgery to treat, especially if there is instability to the knee. This is partly because tearing your ACL often also involves a torn meniscus, which can result in greater injury to the knee cartilage (meniscus) if it is left untreated – and all of this can also lead to the development of osteoarthritis.
Therefore, knee surgery can actually help you prevent developing arthritis in the knee. Joint reconstruction surgery is often recommended for younger patients with a torn ACL who live active lifestyles.
ACL surgery has a very high success rate. It is now usually performed arthroscopically, which is a minimally invasive procedure. The operation is quick, there is a relatively low infection incidence, and recovery is also much faster for most patients as compared to after traditional open surgery. Additionally, patients who undergo arthroscopic joint surgery are usually able to return home on the same day of the surgery to begin their recovery.
Before knee surgery, doctors often recommend “prehabilitation.” This will help to get your body strong and limber beforehand so you will have an excellent recovery experience after the operation.
What Can I Expect After Knee Surgery?
After surgery to repair the torn ACL and any other injured parts of your knee, recovery requires teamwork with your therapist and motivation to heal as quickly as possible. You will undergo rehabilitation therapy that includes physical therapy exercises.
A return to normal activities should only be done upon the advice of your orthopedic surgeon. Returning too soon could result in re-injury or complications. For this reason, taking your time with recovery is the best thing that you can do for your knee. The doctor and rehabilitation team will perform tests to assess your readiness to return to normal activities.
Joint Reconstructive Surgery for ACL Tear Repair
At Movement Orthopedics, our board-certified orthopedic surgeon has many years of experience treating common knee injuries, including ACL tears. First, our medical team will make a diagnosis before we recommend the best treatment for your condition.
Whether it’s total joint reconstruction surgery or outpatient arthroscopic knee surgery, you can trust that our orthopedic team has the specialized training and equipment to perform the most minimally invasive and image-guided techniques possible for optimum results.
To schedule a consultation, call Movement Orthopedics today at (586) 436-3785 or fill out our online appointment request form now. We look forward to helping you get back to the active lifestyle you enjoy.