5 doctors weighed in:

Are there ACL injuries that are so severe that you cannot repair them?

5 doctors weighed in
Dr. James Chen
Sports Medicine
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Yes

Most acl tears cannot be repaired and must be reconstructed to restore the anatomy.
Reconstruction means taking another ligament and putting it in the place of the old acl. Repair refers to the sewing together of torn pieces of the acl. The results of repairs of tears are simply not as good as reconstruction so it really is not an option for tears.

In brief: Yes

Most acl tears cannot be repaired and must be reconstructed to restore the anatomy.
Reconstruction means taking another ligament and putting it in the place of the old acl. Repair refers to the sewing together of torn pieces of the acl. The results of repairs of tears are simply not as good as reconstruction so it really is not an option for tears.
Dr. James Chen
Dr. James Chen
Thank
Dr. Bernard Bach Jr
Orthopedic Surgery

In brief: Generally not.

With nearly all knee injuries, it is possible to reconstruct the ACL.
There may be other damage that needs to be addressed, but depending on specifics, your ACL should be amenable to reconstruction.

In brief: Generally not.

With nearly all knee injuries, it is possible to reconstruct the ACL.
There may be other damage that needs to be addressed, but depending on specifics, your ACL should be amenable to reconstruction.
Dr. Bernard Bach Jr
Dr. Bernard Bach Jr
Thank
Dr. Ty Endean
Orthopedic Surgery

In brief: Reconstruction

I am sure there are always special circumstances where a acl cannot be repaired but as a general rule they are always able to be reconstructed.
Sometimes this needs to be staged from the time of injury to complete reconstruction.

In brief: Reconstruction

I am sure there are always special circumstances where a acl cannot be repaired but as a general rule they are always able to be reconstructed.
Sometimes this needs to be staged from the time of injury to complete reconstruction.
Dr. Ty Endean
Dr. Ty Endean
Thank
Dr. John Ayres
Orthopedic Surgery

In brief: Yes

Technically none of them can be repaired and all of them must be reconstructed.
Once the ligament is torn, its no good, and must be replaced. The method of reconstruction can include your own patalla tendon, allograft (cadaver) tendon, or hamstring tendon. Unless there is associated trauma to the knee, there is no ACL injury that is so severe that it can't be reconstructed.

In brief: Yes

Technically none of them can be repaired and all of them must be reconstructed.
Once the ligament is torn, its no good, and must be replaced. The method of reconstruction can include your own patalla tendon, allograft (cadaver) tendon, or hamstring tendon. Unless there is associated trauma to the knee, there is no ACL injury that is so severe that it can't be reconstructed.
Dr. John Ayres
Dr. John Ayres
Thank
Get help from a real doctor now
Dr. Warren Strudwick
Board Certified, Sports Medicine
26 years in practice
490K people helped
Continue
108,000 doctors available
Read more answers from doctors