The ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) is a frequently injured ligament of the knee. The ACL is a tough band of tissue that connects the bones in your knee. It helps the knee function and holds the knee together. The ACL is often injured in sports and is more frequently injured in women than in men.
Conditions We Treat
ACL injury is common in soccer players, tennis players, football players and athletes who play any sport where you may twist the knee after the foot is planted or have to stop suddenly when running. ACL injuries also occur when you have to suddenly shift your weight from one leg to another or when the knee encounters a direct blow.
Other ligaments in the knee may also be damaged and require medical intervention:
- The posterior cruciate ligament (PCL)
- The lateral collateral ligament (LCL)
- The medial collateral ligament (MCL)
Progressive physical therapy and rehabilitation may restore the knee to close to its prior level of functioning. This depends on the type of injury and works best when the patient has no symptoms of knee instability, has a lifestyle that is not stressful to the knee, and when growth plates are still open (children) so that healing is encouraged by the body’s natural growth processes. Patients undergoing non-surgical treatment for ACL injuries frequently use a hinged knee brace.
Your physician will help you determine if surgery is the right option for you. If you are having problems with instability and lead an active lifestyle, surgery will probably be recommended if the damage is severe. The good news is that ACL surgeries are very effective in restoring function to the knee. Most ACL surgeries use a substitute graph to replace the failing tendon. These graphs are taken from the patient or could come from a cadaver. ACL surgeries have success rates as high as 95%.
For questions, more information or to schedule an appointment, please contact NGPG Orthopedic Surgery & Sports Medicine.