A completely torn ACL will not heal on its own and will need reconstruction. However, in some cases, a patient with a partially torn ACL will not require surgery. The Lachman and pivot shift tests will help your doctor determine if you are experiencing a partial or complete ACL tear. The Lachman test is performed by pulling the tibia anteriorly away from the femur. A partial tear will prevent forward translational movement of the tibia on the femur. A pivot shift test will test the rotational pressure on the knee. A slide, shift, or jerk of the bones indicates a complete tear.
ACL Reconstruction Procedure
The surgical procedure involves replacing the damaged ligament with either part of your patellar tendon, hamstring tendon, or cadaver tissue. ACL Reconstruction is done using minimally invasive arthroscopic techniques combined with fiber optics to replace the damaged ligament.
ACL Reconstruction Recovery
Recovery from an ACL reconstruction varies depending on how soon you start physical therapy post-surgery and what activities you do in that time frame. After reconstruction surgery, make sure to elevate and rest your leg. Applying cold to the knee will help with inflammation and swelling. A splint can also be used to minimize any discomfort you may be experiencing. Keeping up with physical therapy and rehabilitation can allow for full ACL reconstruction recovery in 6-12 months or more. Physiotherapy can begin after a few days and will help to regain your range of motion, reduce swelling and achieve full weight-bearing.
ACL Reconstruction Risks
However unlikely, as with any surgery, ACL Reconstruction can have potential risks. Complications for ACL Reconstruction can include:
- Infection in the surgical incisions
- Blood clots in the leg
- Issues with the graft tendon
- Grating of the kneecap
- Damage to structures in or around the knee
ACL Reconstruction at Motion Orthopaedics
ACL reconstruction is a common and successful procedure in those who wish to return to an active lifestyle. The experts at Motion Orthopaedics are highly trained in performing ACL reconstruction with excellent clinical results.