Arthroscopic ACL Repair: What You Need to Know

If you’ve experienced a knee injury, you may have heard of arthroscopic ACL repair as a possible treatment option. But what is it, and why might you need it? In this blog post, we’ll explain everything you need to know about arthroscopic ACL repair, from what it is and why it’s necessary to what recovery is like after the procedure.

Why Might You Need Arthroscopic ACL Repair?

Arthroscopic ACL repair is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that is performed to reconstruct a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in the knee. The ACL is a band of tissue that connects the thigh bone (femur) to the shin bone (tibia) and helps stabilize the knee joint. When the ACL is torn, it can cause pain, swelling, instability, and a limited range of motion.

During arthroscopic ACL repair, the surgeon will make a few small incisions around the knee joint and insert an arthroscope and other surgical instruments into the joint. The arthroscope is a thin fiber-optic tube with a camera attached to it, which allows the surgeon to view the inside of the knee on a monitor. The torn ACL is then removed and replaced with a graft, which can be taken from the patient’s own body (such as the hamstring or patellar tendon) or a donor’s tissue. 

The graft is attached to the bone using screws or other fixation devices.

Why Might You Need Arthroscopic ACL Repair?

If you’ve torn your ACL, arthroscopic ACL repair may be necessary to restore stability and function to your knee joint. ACL tears can be caused by a variety of factors, including sports injuries, falls, and accidents. Common symptoms of an ACL tear include:

  • Pain and swelling in the knee
  • Instability or giving way of the knee
  • A popping or snapping sound at the time of injury
  • Limited range of motion

If left untreated, an ACL tear can lead to chronic pain, instability, and osteoarthritis in the knee joint. Arthroscopic ACL repair can help prevent these complications and restore normal function to the knee.

What Is Recovery Like After Arthroscopic ACL Repair?

Recovery after arthroscopic ACL repair can vary depending on the individual patient and the extent of the injury. However, most patients can expect to experience the following:

  • Pain and swelling: Pain and swelling are common after the procedure and can last for several weeks. Your doctor will prescribe pain medication and may recommend ice therapy to help manage these symptoms.
  • Restricted movement: You may need to wear a knee brace or use crutches for a period of time after the procedure to protect the knee and allow it to heal. Your doctor may also recommend physical therapy to help restore strength and range of motion to the knee.
  • Return to activity: You will need to avoid strenuous activity, such as sports and exercise, for several months after the procedure to allow the graft to fully integrate with the bone. Your doctor will provide guidance on when it’s safe to return to these activities.

In general, most patients are able to return to normal activities within six to nine months after arthroscopic ACL repair. However, full recovery can take up to a year or more, depending on the individual patient and the extent of the injury.

Who to See for an ACL Tear?

If you’ve experienced an ACL tear, arthroscopic ACL repair may be a necessary treatment option to restore stability and function to your knee joint. This minimally invasive surgical procedure can help prevent complications and restore normal function to the knee. 

If you’re considering arthroscopic ACL repair, be sure to talk to your doctor about the risks, benefits, and recovery process. With proper care and rehabilitation, you can expect to regain strength, flexibility, and mobility in your knee over time.

At Orlando Orthopaedic Center, we specialize in arthroscopic ACL repair and other knee surgeries. Our experienced team of surgeons and physical therapists will work with you to develop a personalized treatment plan that meets your unique needs and goals. If you’re experiencing knee pain or instability, don’t wait to seek treatment. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn more about your treatment options.