Arthroscopic ACL Reconstruction Specialist

The doctors at Advanced Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Specialists provide expert arthroscopic ACL reconstruction surgeries to help patients recover from injury and get back to normal activities. Appointments for consultation are available at four conveniently located offices in Denver and Parker, Colorado.

Arthroscopic ACL Reconstruction Q & A

What is arthroscopic ACL reconstruction?

The ACL or anterior cruciate ligament prevents the leg from moving too far forward and helps to stabilize the joint during twisting motions. It is also a ligament that is injured often when people slip or during athletic events. Arthroscopic ACL reconstruction is a minimally invasive surgery that helps repair injuries to the ACL or reconstruct it depending on the severity of the injury.

Who is a good candidate for ACL repair or reconstruction?

Surgery is not always the first option for treating injury to the ACL. It is very likely that your doctor will first try physical therapy to see how you respond. Another pre-surgery treatment would be the use of a hinged knee brace that helps stabilize the leg and knee joint. Some knee injuries simply require the joint rest as it recovers. If those options do not work or the results are poor, then you might be a candidate for ACL repair or reconstruction with arthroscopy. Other factors that help you decide if you are a good candidate for arthroscopic ACL repair or reconstruction include how active a person you are, if you are an adult or teen whose growth plates are mature, or if you are a person who has instability in the joint, especially while walking.

How is the procedure performed?

General anesthesia is typically provided through a regional anesthesia or a block could also be used. During the operation, a tiny camera is inserted into the knee through a small incision and is connected to a video monitor. The surgeon will use this to view the ligaments and other tissues of the knee. Other small incisions will be used to insert the medical instruments needed for repair. Any damage found will be addressed and then the ACL will be replaced using the following steps:

  • The torn ligament is removed
  • When an autograft is used, the surgeon will make a larger incision to obtain the tissue.
  • Tunnels in the bone will be made and the new tissue brought through. This will be in the same place as the original ACL.
  • The new ligament is attached with screws or similar devices. As it heals, the bone tunnels fill in.

What happens after the procedure?

Most patients can return home the same day. A knee brace is usually worn for one to four weeks and crutches are also usually used. The knee can be moved right after surgery and helps prevent stiffness. Physical therapy is prescribed for between 4- 6 months.