The Approach to ACL Tear

The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is one of four main ligaments in the knee that connect bones and help provide stability to the joint. The ACL prevents the tibia from excessive forward motion and too much inward twisting or rotation. It is estimated that each year 1 in 3,500 individuals in the United States will sustain an ACL injury. Approximately 125,000-200,000 ACL reconstructions (surgery to fix the ligament) are performed annually.

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A torn ACL cannot heal itself. An ACL tear may involve a complete tear to the ligament and loss of function, or a partial tear with some function remaining in the fibers that are not torn. ACL tears that require surgery most commonly happen in athletes who are less than 25 years of age, however, ACL injuries occur in athletes of all age groups. In many cases, the ACL tear occurs when an athlete is cutting, pivoting, accelerating, decelerating, or landing from a jump. ACL tears can also occur in the workplace, in automobile accidents, and even during simple daily activities.

If you suspect that you have an ACL tear, we recommend that you see a board-certified and sports medicine fellowship trained orthopaedic surgeon. It is best to find an orthopaedic surgeon who frequently performs ACL surgery.

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When you experience an injury or have pain, your goal is to seek health care that will return you to a quality lifestyle as soon as possible. You want a physician that is the absolute best in their field – one that can diagnose and treat you right the first time.