The ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) is one of the four large ligaments that work to support and stabilize the knee joint. When the ACL is injured, usually by way of a tear in the ligament resulting from a sports injury or forceful impact of the knee, surgery can be necessary to repair the damage. Depending on the type and severity of the injury, an orthopedic surgeon will determine whether surgery is the best course of action to repair the damage.
ACL Recovery in Los Angeles
ACL surgery usually consists of what is known as a graft, where a piece of tendon or ligament from another part of the body is used to repair the torn ligament. The most common graft used during ACL reconstruction is an autograft (tissue is taken from the patient’s own body). Another option is an allograft, where the material is sourced from a donor.
Dr. Eric Millstein, an orthopedic surgeon who treats numerous patients for ACL recovery in Los Angeles, will use either arthroscopic or open knee surgery when repairing ACL trears. Arthroscopic surgery is a less invasive procedure where several small incisions are made around the knee joint for a surgical instrument known as an arthroscope. An arthroscope is equipped with a light and small camera at the end allowing for a surgeon to see inside the knee joint.
Patients can begin ACL rehabilitation immediately and are usually given a set of exercises to complete in the recovery room. Patients who have not undergone additional procedures, such as repairs for a meniscal tear, can usually expect to begin gradually bearing weight on the knee and walking without crutches within seven to ten days after surgery. The first two weeks after surgery tend to focus on reducing swelling and regaining knee extension capability by working out on a stationary bike.
Next, read more about ACL reconstruction.