Understanding the Process of ACL Repair

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The ACL, or anterior cruciate ligament, is one of the largest ligaments of the knee. This ligament is prone to being stretched or torn and can result in pain and reduced activity levels. ACL injuries are commonly seen in sports that require sudden stopping and turning, such as gymnastics, football, soccer, and basketball.

Reconstruction of the ACL

When the ACL is damaged, it requires an orthopedic surgeon to repair with surgery. During the reconstruction of the ligament, the torn ligament is removed. Then, with a donated ligament or a tendon from the patient’s own body, it is replaced. The procedure is performed through a small incision in the knee joint and is an effective outpatient surgery that can help patients get back to their normal activities following injury.

When might ACL reconstruction be necessary?

There are many times when a doctor may recommend reconstruction of the ligaments in the knees. Drs. Peter Holmes and Kathren McCarty may suggest moving forward with ACL reconstruction when:

• The injury impacts one’s ability to perform every day activities

• One or more ligaments of the knee is injured or damaged

• The patient is an athlete and wants to return to their sports activities

• The patient is young, as recovery is typically faster

What can I expect after my ACL surgery?

After the procedure, patients can return home the same day with transportation from a friend or family member. Patients will leave the office with crutches and sometimes splints or knee braces to protect the knee. Aftercare instructions are given to ensure patients can control the swelling and pain after surgery. Patients should keep their leg elevated and rest as much as possible to facilitate faster healing and recovery. Most patients can take over-the-counter pain medications to reduce discomfort. After the area has begun to heal, patients are sent to physical therapy to restore flexibility and range of motion while strengthening the muscles in the legs.

Speak to our professionals about ACL repair

If you are dealing with a torn ligament in the knee that requires repair, contact Sports, Occupational and Knee Surgery in the area of San Antonio, Texas. Drs. Peter Holmes and Kathren McCarty invite new patients into the practice for quality care and to discuss their medical needs.

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