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ACL Revision


Anterior cruciate ligament tears are a very common injury in athletes who participate in sports such as basketball, soccer, football, skiing, and lacrosse. These sports require movements, like cutting and pivoting, that make athletes more prone to ACL injuries.

Most young athletes elect to have surgery to reconstruct the torn anterior cruciate ligament, in anticipation of returning to their sport and a full active lifestyle. Hundreds of thousands of ACL reconstructions are performed in the US every year, and although the surgery has a high success rate, some patients are left with unsatisfactory results with their reconstructed ligament. Ligament re-injury and improper healing prompt patients to consider revision surgery. Because the procedure takes place in an area of the body that has already undergone surgery (the knee), it’s often more difficult to perform.


What is ACL Revision Surgery?

Sometimes, a second surgery may be needed using different techniques to revise the original ligament reconstruction. A Beverly Hills orthopedic surgeon like Dr. Millstein must take multiple factors into account when planning for this more complex procedure. The need for a second surgery depends upon the patient, the condition of the knee, and the desired activity level of the patient.

During reconstruction surgery, Dr. Millstein has different methods available for the revision of the knee. These options include allografts, autografts, or synthetic ligaments. A second surgery is a more difficult operation to perform compared to primary ACL reconstruction surgery, but with careful planning and by choosing a great surgeon, patients can expect great results.

If the knee is not unstable or patients don’t wish to return to sports, patients may decide not to have a second surgery. Athletes may also decide to return to a different type of sport that may not put as much stress on the knee. Athletes who are enthusiastic about their athletic activity will likely opt for surgery so they have a chance at rehabilitating the knee. Rehabilitation following revision surgery may take longer than the typical rehabilitation following primary ACL surgery.

Considerations of ACL Revision Surgery
When considering anterior cruciate ligament revision surgery, patients and surgeons should discuss all of the factors in the recovery and rehabilitation of the knee and how they will play a role in the patient’s lifestyle.

  • Why did the first operation fail?
  • What are the implications of not getting ACL revision surgery?
  • Are there any other injuries to the knee that could affect the outcome of revision surgery?
  • What is the timeline for recovery and rehabilitation?
  • Are there any risks to having the revision surgery?
  • How can re-injury of the knee be avoided?

Preventing Knee Injuries
The best way to avoid revision surgery is to do certain exercises and participate in training that will increase strength and balance of the knee. Also, athletes can opt out of playing sports that involve a lot of cutting and pivoting, and substitute other athletic activities. Swimming, cycling, jogging, and weight training are all workouts where the risk of ligament injury or re-injury is low. To learn more, please contact Dr. Millstein, a Marina Del Rey ACL doctor, today.

Please read this article on ACL revision surgery.

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