ACL injuries are typically the result of sports-related activity, either from impact or quick lateral movements. The ACL is one of the four ligaments in the knee, and injuries to this ligament often require surgical reconstruction. Tears to the ACL can occur from either non-contact athletic activity or through sudden impact to the knee. If left untreated, this injury can lead to decreased stability and control in the knee and damage to the other ligaments. There are non-surgical approaches to mending an ACL injury, but ACL reconstruction is required in severe cases.
Treatment for ACL injuries begins with weeks of rehabilitative therapy. During this time, you may also wear a brace to stabilize your knee and use crutches to avoid putting weight on your injury. In severe cases of ACL tears, the ligament needs to be rebuilt, not merely repaired. This procedure involves taking a tendon graft from elsewhere in the body (patella tendon, hamstring tendon) and fixing the graft in the usual ACL location. Arthroscopic surgery techniques allow for smaller incisions to be used. An athlete can usually return to their sport 6-9 months after their surgery. Our team at Dines Orthopedic has treated many patients for this injury, and we utilize a comprehensive approach to care to treat each individual's specific needs.