ACL Surgery

Overview

Expert ACL Surgery to Repair Anterior Cruciate Ligaments

The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) connects the femur (thighbone) to the tibia (shinbone) across the front of the knee. The ACL is the most commonly injured ligament in the knee.

People frequently injure the ACL during sports. If you run, ski or play basketball or soccer, chances are good that you or a friend has known someone with an ACL injury. Women are more likely than men to rupture or tear their ACL.

At Aurora Health Care, our specialty-trained surgeons and physical therapists have deep knowledge and skill in treating knee injuries, including ACL tears. We can help you heal and get back to full function in sports and in life.

The Aurora Difference

Advanced, Minimally Invasive ACL Surgery

Your ACL helps to stabilize your knee so that you can run, jump, ski or whatever else you enjoy. Minimally invasive ACL repair lets you get back to those activities faster.

Aurora is home to some of the region’s most experienced knee surgeons, who focus on orthopedic care and sports medicine. That’s why athletes, weekend warriors and all types of active adults choose us for ACL repair. We offer:

  • Advanced surgical techniques: We continually look for improved techniques and treatments. We’re working to create an even less invasive ACL reconstruction known as all-inside ACL reconstruction. Still in testing, this procedure offers potential for faster recovery and less pain after surgery.
  • Sports medicine and orthopedic expertise: Our surgeons are specially trained in knee surgery. We perform many ACL repairs each year and understand how to treat a wide range of sports injuries.
  • Help with your return to sports: When you’re ready to get back to your sport – or try a new one – we offer programs to put you in peak condition. We can help with running form, golf, bike fitting and more. Read about our sports performance programs.
  • Coordinated care: Our specialists will work closely with your primary care doctor and physical therapist to help you recover smoothly from your ACL repair. Meet our sports health team.

ACL Repair

Options to Treat or Reconstruct Knee Ligaments

Many ACL injuries require surgical repair. Sometimes, nonsurgical treatment is enough to allow the ligament to heal.

Nonsurgical Treatment for an ACL Tear

In some cases, people have only a partial ACL tear. A partial ACL tear might heal on its own with rest, medication and physical therapy.

Your doctor can examine your knee to determine what type of injury you have. Read more about an ACL tear.

ACL Reconstruction

Your doctor may recommend ACL surgery if you participate in sports or if more conservative treatments aren't working. ACL repair stabilizes your knee so that you can return to work and daily activities, including athletics.

ACL reconstruction has a very high success rate. In 95% of surgeries, people recover with good knee stability and lasting results.

ACL Surgery: About the Procedure

Our orthopedic specialists usually perform ACL surgery arthroscopically, using a tiny camera and small incisions. This minimally invasive procedure helps you to recover faster, with less scarring.

Most often, the surgeon replaces the damaged ACL with a tendon (connective tissue) from another part of your leg. The surgeon then attaches the replacement ACL to the knee and leg bones.

Recovering From ACL Surgery

Immediately after ACL surgery, we will help keep pain manageable so you can begin moving around. You’ll begin physical therapy right away after your ACL reconstruction. Intensive therapy will continue for several weeks, until you regain your strength and range of motion. Learn more about physical therapy.

Most people return to their usual activities, including sports, within four to six months. Some people prefer to wear a brace during sports after their ACL repair. Your doctor will let you know if a brace is necessary.

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