Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) surgery is a procedure that repairs or reconstructs a torn ACL, one of the major ligaments in the knee.
Our orthopedic surgeons at La Peer Health Systems in Beverly Hills are leading experts in the field of revisional knee surgery and formulate individualized treatment plans for patients with all different types of knee conditions. Patients who opt to visit our world-renowned facilities receive an unparalleled quality of service and care. They also benefit from our expertise in the very latest ACL surgery procedures. When you come to La Peer you can rest assured that you’re working with the best ACL surgeon possible.
To learn more about ACL surgery, please visit ACLSurgeryLA.com.
Why Is the Anterior Cruciate Ligament So Important?
The anterior cruciate ligament is one of the most important ligaments in the knee, as it provides both stability and balance to the joint. In essence, the ACL prevents the lower leg from going too far forward. Sustaining a tear in the anterior cruciate ligament is one of the most common injuries in sports that involve running, pivoting and jumping. A successful ACL reconstruction can help an athlete return to the field.
Who Is a Candidate for ACL Surgery?
A specialized Beverly Hills knee surgeon can determine if an ACL reconstruction procedure is right for the patient. Typically, the best candidates for ACL reconstruction are younger patients involved in strenuous sports or involved in physically demanding occupations, such as construction.
When determining whether or not a patient is a good candidate, the orthopedic surgeon will take into consideration several factors. These factors include the patient’s age and long and short-term goals as well as the patient’s lifestyle, namely how much he or she is willing to modify it.
What Happens During the Procedure?
An ACL reconstruction is performed arthroscopically. First, a small incision allows an arthroscope to be inserted into the knee joint so it can inspect the damage sustained by the joint. Once our orthopedic surgeon has diagnosed the anterior cruciate ligament tear, a graft is obtained and prepared. The anterior cruciate ligament graft, harvested from a donor or even the patient, is then trimmed down to proper size.
A drill is then used to make tibial and femoral tunnels so that the new ACL graft can be held in place. The new graft is passed into position and pulled up into the femoral tunnel and one end is secured into the femur. The other end is now in the tibial tunnel with the central portion of the graft in the center of the knee joint and replacing the old ACL.
The graft is then solidly fixed in position with a screw and tension is placed on the end of the graft to make it tight. Once this is completed, the surgeon sutures up the incisions, and the patient begins the recovery process.
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Recovery after Surgery
After ACL surgery, Los Angeles doctors recommend crutches be used for a period of 4 to 10 days and a motion-allowing brace will need to be worn for 4 weeks in order to protect the new graft. Under the supervision of the orthopedic surgeon and a physical therapist, the patient will begin a rehabilitation program the day after the surgery with the goal of managing swelling, allowing full extension of the knee and developing and maintaining muscle control.
It takes about 6 weeks for the bone to fully attach to the graft and about 12 weeks into rehabilitation. Once this occurs, patients are usually allowed to begin more aggressive exercise that puts stress on the knee.
ACL Reconstruction Success Rate
Anterior cruciate ligament reconstructive surgery has a high success rate and is proven to tighten the knees, restore stability and help prevent further injury in those who return to sports. Significant progress has been made in recent years in ACL repair methods, with stronger grafts being used, resulting in a success rate of approximately 95 percent.
Revisional ACL Surgery
A small percentage of patients require a revisional surgery to repair an ACL tear.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How do I know if I’ve torn my ACL?
A: It’s not always easy to tell if an anterior cruciate ligament has been torn. One indicator is a loose feeling in the knee and a lack of stability. Another indicator is swelling in the knee. Even if pain isn’t severe, it’s always prudent to see a board-certified orthopedic surgeon any time you suffer a knee injury.
Q: How long before I can shower after torn ACL surgery?
A: The day after surgery the physician will replace the dressing with a waterproof dressing. Once that has been done, it’s fine to shower.
Q: How long after ACL surgery before I can drive?
A: You can drive 1-2 weeks after surgery. It is critical that you are no longer taking narcotic pain medications during the day and that you have enough bend in your leg to transition from the brake to the gas pedal.
Q: When can I go back to work?
A: You can usually go back to work in 1-2 weeks. If your occupation requires long durations of walking or standing, then you can go back as soon as you are able to perform your job specific duties safely.
Contact a La Peer Health Systems Orthopedic Surgeon
La Peer Health Systems in Beverly Hills features some of the most renowned orthopedic surgeons in the country. We utilize the latest and most effective procedures when performing ACL surgeries. To schedule a consultation with one of our talented orthopedic surgeons, call (888) 429-6865 or fill out our contact form.
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