The ACL is one of the main ligaments involved in stabilizing the knee during physical activities, so when a person’s ACL is compromised, their knee can give out or have a limited range of motion. The goal of ACL reconstruction is to restore stability and function to the knee after a tear or injury to the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL).
At California Orthopedics & Spine, we treat ACL injuries to help patients return their active lifestyles. Repairing injuries to the ACL can be a little different than other parts of the body since the ACL cannot repair itself like muscles and other tissues. For this reason, surgery is often recommended when physical therapy and other nonsurgical treatments cannot restore the knee range of motion.
ACL Surgery and Treatment
It’s important to seek treatment as soon as possible after your injury. A torn ACL can be painful, and leaving the knee without adequate support can make the injury worse. With treatment, most patients can return to their full or near-full range of motion.
- Before surgery is considered, you will have an evaluation with your sports medicine physician or orthopedic specialist. During this appointment, your doctor will evaluate the injury and perform an MRI before developing a treatment plan for you. Usually, scheduling the surgery after any swelling from the initial injury has gone down creates the best results, and many patients have some physical therapy sessions before their procedure.
- The surgery itself is usually an arthroscopic procedure, which means it uses minimally invasive instruments and cameras to access and repair the injury. Usually, a graft of ligament material from your own body or a donor will be threaded into the proper position where the old ligament once was. This graft will be attached both above and below the knee. After a few months, the graft will heal to form the new ACL. If there are additional injuries to other parts of the knee, your orthopedic surgeon will use the arthroscopic camera to view and address these issues.
- Following surgery, patients will need to follow a consistent physical therapy routine to regain a full range of motion. The recovery process is different for everyone, but usually, patients can start low-impact physical activities after a few weeks and higher-impact activities after about six months. Your doctor and physical therapist will be able to help you track your progress.
ACL Rehabilitation in Marin County, CA
The doctors at California Orthopedics & Spine have treated thousands of ACL injuries, and our surgeons are arthroscopic surgery specialists. We take pride in treating patients of all ages and athletic abilities. If you need treatment for an ACL tear or another joint injury, give one of our offices a call. We serve patients from all over Marin, Napa, and Sonoma Counties, as well as the entire Bay Area.