ACL Tear Surgery Washington DC
At the office of Dr. Stein, we specialize in injury prevention and treatment. In some cases, surgical services are needed to repair acute injuries. One such specialized treatment is ACL tear surgery or anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction.
ACL injuries are all too common, especially in sports. They occur when the anterior cruciate ligament stretches too far, to the point where it tears. This can happen with athletes of all ages, sizes, and genders. ACL injuries happen in a number of different ways:
- Landing in the wrong position after a jump
- Pivoting without turning the leg enough
- Suddenly stopping and changing direction
- Receiving a direct hit or collision in the knee
What is the ACL?
The anterior cruciate ligament is one of the biggest ligaments in the knee and is primarily responsible for stabilization. It is the ligament that connects the thigh bone to the leg bone and keeps movements regular. It is also flexible, which is what makes it possible for knees to pivot or change direction without the leg giving out completely.
Why are Knee Injuries so Common?
Knees are some of the most commonly injured parts of the body. This is because the knee is a large joint that becomes unstable the more it turns. When a knee bends, the ACL becomes almost useless to support it.
This is why our team takes a proactive approach to the treatment of this injury. Our surgical solutions repair this ligament and restore the knee back to its former strength through a number of treatment steps.
Our orthopedics and sports medicine experts have different treatments available depending on the severity and type of ACL injury the patient is diagnosed with. Our treatment options include:
- RICE. The most common treatment recommendation for this injury. RICE stands for Rest, Ice, Compress, and Elevate.
- Rehabilitation. We have several different options for rehabilitation and physical therapy depending on the type of injury sustained. This often comes with a personalized treatment plan and the application of a knee brace to assist with treatment.
- ACL Tear Surgery. In most cases, a custom surgery solution is recommended. Dr. Stein will personally walk you through the surgical process to understand how this operation can fix the ligament and prevent knee pain.
The latest study from Current Reviews in Musculoskeletal Medicine measures that only 20% of patients with ACL injuries can make a full recovery without surgery. While all patients are treated with non-operative solutions first, it is critical to plan a personalized treatment option as quickly as possible.
ACL Surgical Graft Options
When an operation is recommended for an ACL surgery, Dr. Stein will then walk the patient through available graft options to determine which operation is best suited for their specific injury.
At our sports medicine facility, we have different graft and construction types available which include:
- Autograft. This takes a part of a tendon from your other knee or your hamstring to repair your torn ligament.
- Allograft. Dr. Stein will use tissue from an organ donor.
- Prosthetic. If the sustained injury affects more than just the ACL, full knee replacement may be necessary.
Minimally Invasive Knee Surgery
Dr. Stein makes every effort to be as minimally invasive as possible. Our advanced surgical procedure involves a very small incision and the insertion of a microscopic camera to perform ligament repair. This decreases the amount of scarring and increases ease of recovery and repair.
Candidates for ACL Tear SurgeryGenerally, Dr. Stein will recommend surgery as the ideal treatment option for:
- Youthful individuals who participate in active sports that involve a lot of pivoting, such as soccer or tennis
- Patients who have found other rehabilitation options to be unsuccessful
- Those who have injuries that involve more than just the ACL
Depending on the severity of the injury, a second surgery might be necessary. This is not the case in most cases, but there is a possibility in order to be sure that the ligament has fully regained its strength and mobility.
ACL Surgery Aftercare
The biggest question on a patient’s mind after a sports-related injury is, “When can I play sports again?” At the office of Dr. Stein, we want to ensure that patients can get back on the field as quickly as possible. We no there is no downtime in sports, and we can provide the resources and treatments necessary to give you a swift and full recovery.Our team of experts recommends an average of 6 months between surgery and full recovery. While this may seem like a long wait, it’s important to understand that knee injuries are some of the most complex and slowest to heal. Patience is the key to avoiding a reinjury.
ACL Injury RecoveryAfter an operative or non-operative procedure, there are steps you should take to aid in the full recovery process.
- After your operation, Dr. Stein will prescribe a painkiller to help get rid of initial post-operative pain. This should only be necessary for the first few days following the surgery.
- Dr. Stein will also recommend the use of ice packs throughout the rehabilitation process. It may take several months up to a year for a full recovery.