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Doctor insights on: Acl Reconstruction

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Dr. Allen Lu
349 doctors shared insights

Acl Reconstruction (Overview)

Because an acl (anterior cruciate ligament) cannot heal itself on its own, an acl is "reconstructed" by placing a graft tendon substitute (from your own or donor cadaver tendon) placed into tunnels made in the original acl position, and fixed in place with screws, buttons, or other fixation device. The body then replaces the cells and structure of the graft over 6-8 months, recreating a new acl.


Dr. Allen Lu
349 doctors shared insights

Acl Reconstruction (Overview)

Because an acl (anterior cruciate ligament) cannot heal itself on its own, an acl is "reconstructed" by placing a graft tendon substitute (from your own or donor cadaver tendon) placed into tunnels made in the original acl position, and fixed in place with screws, buttons, or other fixation device. The body then replaces the cells and structure of the graft over 6-8 months, recreating a new acl.


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How successful is an ACL reconstruction?

How successful is an ACL reconstruction?

Fairly: successful in replacing the ACL. However that said, the new ACL has no nerve supply going to it so you may not know if you re-injure it in the future. Secondly the way the ACL is replaced in our current surgical options, its not the same place as before and therefore the stress on the knee can increase causing degeneration in the joint as well. Consider Regenexx Stem Cell therapy options. ...Read more

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How variable is recovery time from a ACL reconstruction?

How variable is recovery time from a ACL reconstruction?

Well: After any surgery, it takes time to heal from it. Most people with ACL repair surgeries will take 3-4 months to feel like the knee feels stable and stronger as the graft sets in. It can take up to 9 months to fully heal. Following your doctor's orders are key and when rehab starts follow it to a T. You will do just fine. If you are concerned talk to your doctor. Check Regenexx.Com ...Read more

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I'm three weeks out from ACL reconstruction. How long until I should get be able to reach full extension?

I'm three weeks out from ACL reconstruction. How long until I should get be able to reach full extension?

3-4 weeks: Need to gain full extension in 4-6 weeks post acl especially btb graft. Need to have pt get on it imediatly. Use prone hangs, extension board, no pillows under bend of knee. ...Read more

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Question about ACL reconstruction? Risk vs benefit to me?

Question about ACL reconstruction? Risk vs benefit to me?

Most benefit: The acl is not only the anterior cruciate ligament but also the crucial ligament for stability of the knee. Most younger or more active patients will function better and have fewer knee problems with their acl reconstructed. ...Read more

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How long does it take to heal from ACL reconstruction?

How long does it take to heal from ACL reconstruction?

5-12 months, varies: This is highly variable depending on other injuries in the knee, the activity level you are returning to, and the type of surgery/graft choice used to replace your acl. In general, daily activities and sedentary work can be resumed in 2-6 weeks. Full healing of the graft varies from 6 months to 2 years. Most sports can be resumed at 6-9 months, but normal strength and function may take longer. ...Read more

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How do you tell if there is ACL reconstruction failure?

How do you tell if there is ACL reconstruction failure?

Knee feels unstable: There are many ways to define failure after acl recon. The graft can fail traumatically or because of a technical error either way you will feel the knee is unstable and slides in and out of place with buckling and giving away. At this point an MRI scan can be used to evaluate the status of the acl graft. ...Read more

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How can I tell if my ACL reconstruction has worked?

Talk to your surgeon: After an appropriate amount of time, your knee should feel stable to you and to your surgeon. Physical examination and discussion with your surgeon should confirm that your procedure was successful. If questions persist, a repeat MRI imaging study can demonstrate acl graft integrity and when blood supply has returned to the graft and it is ready for high stress activity again. ...Read more

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I'm 4 weeks out of ACL reconstruction. Should I be able to reach full extension by now?

YES!!: Gaining full extension should be the first thing that you work on achieving. Depending on the type of graft you have it may be more difficult to get full extension but it should be your first goal. Range of motion followed by strengthening and sport specific activities is the general course of your recovery. ...Read more

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