ACL Reconstruction Surgery

What is an ACL repair, and how is it performed?

Have you ever wondered how ACL injuries are treated? If so, let us clarify your understanding regarding what can be done to speed up the healing process.

At OrthoNeuro, our board-certified orthopedic knee surgeons specialize in ACL reconstruction. We have 7 convenient locations throughout the greater Columbus Area. If you think you have torn your ACL, contact our team of experts today!

What Is an ACL?

The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is one of four major ligaments in your knee. Your ACL diagonally crosses the middle of your knee and connects your femur (thighbone) to your tibia (shinbone), aiding in stabilizing your knee.

Grades of ACL Tears

There are three different severity grades of a torn ACL, and they are as follows:

  • Grade 1 Sprains occur when there has been minimal damage, stretching, or a mild tear to the structure of the ligament. However, despite the injury, the ligament will continue to keep the joint stable.
  • Grade 2 Sprains or tears are moderate in nature, and when they occur, they cause additional looseness and instability to your knee joint.
  • Grade 3 Sprains are full/complete tears and the most severe. They enable complete joint laxity or no stability within your knee joint.

Most ACL injuries are either near complete or complete tears.

Mechanism of Injury

ACL injuries are typically non-contact in nature – cutting, pivoting, or landing awkwardly from a jump. Alternatively, contact injuries can occur with collision sports and activities.

Signs and Symptoms of ACL Injury

The signs and symptoms of an ACL injury can include:

  • Pain
  • Instability
  • Swelling
  • Reduced range of motion

How Is an ACL Tear Diagnosed?

An ACL tear is diagnosed by means of a clinical evaluation and a thorough review of your medical history. Your specialist may order an MRI to confirm the diagnosis and to see if there is additional structural damage.

Treatment Options for Torn ACLs

Grade 1 and Grade 2 tears can be treated conservatively. This may include:

  • Rest
  • Modified physical activity
  • Anti-inflammatory medications
  • Bracing
  • Physical therapy

This may be all that is needed for those with a sedentary lifestyle.

What Is ACL Repair and Reconstruction?

ACL repair and reconstruction are two surgical procedures used to remedy a tear. 

ACL repair is rare and is only used when the ligament remains intact after an injury, but a fracture occurs at the insertion site of the ligament.

ACL reconstruction surgery is more commonly used to restore the functionality of a torn ligament. It is minimally invasive and performed on an outpatient basis by means of knee arthroscopy.

ACL reconstruction requires that your torn ACL be replaced with a tissue graft. Your surgeon will discuss the two ACL graft options with you prior to surgery.

These options include:

1. Autograft — meaning tissues will be taken from your own body and used. These tissues may be taken from one or two of your three hamstring tendons, part of your quadriceps tendon, or the middle 1/3 of your patellar tendon.

2. Allograft — meaning donated human cadaver tissue will be used. This tissue can be harvested from the lower leg, hamstring, or the middle 1/3 of a patellar tendon.

ACL Reconstruction Process

  1. After small incisions are made, your surgeon will use an arthroscopic video camera as a guide while examining your knee.
  2. Then, tiny instruments will be used to remove the damaged ligament and replace it with the chosen graft.
  3. The graft will be anchored with screws or another fixation device.

This surgical method has also proven beneficial in minimizing instability and knee arthritis in the future.  

Recovery After an ACL Reconstruction Surgery

Once your surgery is completed, a knee brace will be used to support your knee. Physical therapy will start as soon as possible and continue throughout the recovery process to help you regain strength, range of motion, flexibility, and function.

Generally, the recovery time ranges from 6 months to 8 months. However, the time frame may vary depending on each individual circumstance.

If you are interested in ACL surgery, contact one of our OrthoNeuro offices in Columbus, OH today! We look forward to helping you with your knee injury.


How common is this injury?

Torn ACLs are among the most common ligament tears within your knee.

Who would benefit from ACL reconstruction?

Young athletes or those who would like to return to a high-demand, athletic lifestyle or job.

Make an Appointment with an OrthoNeuro Knee Specialist Today!

If you have been considering an ACL Surgery, schedule an appointment with one of our Board Certified Orthopedic Knee Surgeons at one of our 7 convenient locations throughout Greater Columbus. 

We will evaluate your unique lifestyle and goals to determine which type of treatment is best for you.

Knee Specialists


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