One of the most frequent knee injuries is an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury, particularly in athletes. ACL surgery may be necessary to regain full strength. The extent of your injury determines whether you need surgery.
At the Orthopaedic Institute of Henderson, our board-certified staff includes highly skilled surgeons with ACL surgery experience. We get you back to the game as soon as possible with full strength thanks to extraordinary surgical abilities combined with a personalized rehabilitation program.
Grading ACL injuries
ACL injuries affect the meniscus, articular cartilage, or other ligaments. Injured ligaments are classified as sprains and range in severity.
Grade 1 sprains
Grade 1 sprains cause minor ligament injuries. Although the ligament is stretched, it still supports and maintains knee joint stability.
Grade 2 sprains
The ligament is stretched to the point of becoming loose with a Grade 2 sprain. This is frequently referred to as a partial ligament tear.
Grade 3 sprains
Grade 3 is a complete ligament tear. The knee joint is unstable because the ligament has been pulled off the bone or split in half.
Partial ACL tears are uncommon. Most ACL injuries are total or almost complete tears.
Conservative ACL treatment
In conservative treatment, we don’t operate on the cruciate ligament, but rehabilitation begins as soon as possible. Rehabilitation aims to strengthen the muscles that stabilize the knee so much that they can take over the tasks of the missing cruciate ligament.
Sometimes parts of the torn ACL fuse with the posterior cruciate ligament, providing additional stability.
The extent of your injury and your desired level of future activity help us determine whether you require ACL surgery. Without surgery, fully and partially torn ACLs can recover, but they won't regain their pre-injury strength.
Nonsurgical therapy may be sufficient if you only have a partial tear and no indications of instability. Without surgical reconstruction, your chance of having persistent knee instability is also higher.
To avoid chronic instability, you must fully recover your ACL strength if you engage in high-demand sports and occupational activities. ACL surgery is the only method to accomplish that.
Surgical ACL treatment
We typically perform surgical ACL replacement on patients who:
- Are exposed to specific sporting or occupational stress
- Do not develop sufficient stability throughout conservative treatment
- Require maximum knee joint stability due to accompanying damage
ACL surgery takes place after the swelling has gone down and the almost-free mobility of the knee joint returns.
Minimally invasive ACL surgery
Our highly skilled providers perform ACL surgery using minimally invasive arthroscopic techniques.
The scope contains a video camera that transmits magnified images of your knee joint to a monitor, which allows your surgeon to examine the tissues. During your surgery, we diagnose any damage beyond your ACL and repair all the problems.
Whether you choose conservative treatment methods or ACL surgery, our orthopaedic surgeons provide a complete approach to quickly get you back on your feet. Call our Henderson, Nevada, office today to discuss treatment options. You can also request an appointment online.