ACL reconstruction is recommended for individuals with an ACL tear who want to maintain an active lifestyle involving participation in competitive sports or cutting/pivoting activities. ACL reconstruction involves rebuilding the ACL using a graft placed through tunnels created in the femur and tibia.
Graft options for ACL reconstruction include a portion of the patella tendon (bone-patella tendon-bone autograft), two of the hamstring tendons (hamstring autograft), a portion of the quadriceps tendon (quad tendon autograft), and a variety of cadaveric tissue options (allograft). Each graft source has its respective pro’s and con’s, and there is no one option that is right for everyone. Dr. Driscoll will discuss the options with you and help you select the graft that is right for you.
If a significant meniscus tear is encountered, it will be treated with either arthroscopic meniscus repair or partial meniscectomy. The decision between repair and partial meniscectomy depends on the location and type of meniscus tear. While most meniscus tears are not repairable because of limited healing potential, tears treated concurrently with ACL reconstruction tend to do better. If there is a good chance that the meniscus will heal following a repair, then the repair should be performed.
Arthroscopic ACL reconstruction is an outpatient surgery. Patients go home the same day with a knee brace. A knee brace is generally worn for only the first week to encourage full extension. Most patients are allowed to return to their activities by 6 months after surgery, but full recovery may take up to 1 year.