An ACL repair is a surgical procedure in which Dr. Dewan fixes your ACL ligament. You might need to have an ACL repair if the injury to the ligament is severe and likely to affect your quality of life. For older people that do not place as much demands on their knee, a program of physical therapy and supporting the knee with a brace might be enough to achieve the required level of function. However, if you're active, you might well need surgery, as the ACL ligament can't repair a rupture by itself.
ACL Repair Q & A
What is the ACL?
The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is one of the four major ligaments in your knee. Ligaments connect your bones and enable you to stretch and flex your joints. The ACL and the posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) work together to allow the forward and backward motion of your knees.
The ACL can stretch too far, tear, or completely rupture if you exert too much pressure on the joint. A mild sprain, where the ACL is stretched but still whole, typically requires nonsurgical treatments like activity modification and physical therapy. A severe injury, where the ligament ruptures completely, might need surgery.
What causes ACL injuries?
ACL injuries often occur in people who play sports that involve changing direction, stopping, or changing pace suddenly. Contact sports that involve tackling other players are more liable to cause ACL tears. You could also damage your ACL by landing badly after jumping.
ACL tears don't only occur on the sports field — you could damage your ACL by twisting your knee while carrying out normal daily activities.
When the ACL is injured, you might hear a pop, which is the ligament tearing. Your knee might give way under you and be painful after the injury. It's likely to feel tender and look swollen the next day, and you might find it hard to bear your weight on the affected leg.
What is an ACL repair?
An ACL repair is a surgical procedure in which Dr. Dewan fixes your ACL ligament. You might need to have an ACL repair if the injury to the ligament is severe and likely to affect your quality of life.
For older people who live more peaceful lives, a program of physical therapy and supporting the knee with a brace might be enough to achieve the required level of function. However, if you're active, you might well need surgery, as the ACL ligament can't repair a rupture by itself.
How is an ACL repair carried out?
It's usual to carry out ACL repair surgery under a general anesthetic. Dr. Dewan uses minimally invasive arthroscopic techniques to perform your ACL repair, making several small incisions in your knee.
In one incision, he inserts an arthroscope, which is a camera on the end of a slim tube. In the other incisions, Dr. Dewan uses specialized surgical instruments to make the repair. He takes out the damaged ACL and replaces it with a graft.
Dr. Dewan specializes in using sections of hamstring tendon from your thigh or patellar tendon from your knee as the graft tissue. He drills sockets in your thigh bone (femur) and shin bone (tibia) to position the tendon graft and then secures it in place. The grafted tissue acts as a framework on which new ligament tissue grows.
Dr. Dewan also uses stem cell and PRP (platelet-rich plasma) therapies to accelerate and improve the healing process.
Find out more about ACL repair by calling Ashvin K. Dewan, MD today, or book an appointment online.