Complex Knee Injury Surgeon
Do you participate in sports or athletic activities that may cause a sudden twisting of the knee after a foot is planted? If so, you may be at risk of injuring your ACL (anterior cruciate ligament). Not all ACL injuries require a complete ligament reconstruction, so it is important that you see an orthopedic surgeon who specializes in complex knee surgeries. ACL repair surgeon, Doctor Benedict Nwachukwu provides diagnosis and both surgical and nonsurgical treatment options for patients in Manhattan, New York City, NY who have injured their ACL and may need an ACL repair. Contact Dr. Nwachukwu’s team today!
What and where is the ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament?)
The ACL, or anterior cruciate ligament is one of four major ligaments in the knee. The ACL is responsible for keeping the knee stable by securing the back of the thigh bone (femur) to the front of the shin bone (tibia.) The ACL runs through the center of the knee and is also one of the most frequently injured ligaments in the knee, especially in athletes. In the United States alone, approximately 100,000 to 200,000 ACLs are torn each year. If you have injured your ACL, it’s important to see an orthopedic knee specialist that has experience in treating ACL tears and who has a track record of excellent outcomes. Dr. Benedict Nwachukwu, complex knee surgeon serving Manhattan, New York City and the surrounding New York Boroughs has extensive experience and success in treating the ACL and other knee ligament injuries.
What is an ACL Repair?
The anterior cruciate ligament can be repaired arthroscopically, by using a special surgical camera called an arthroscope which is inserted in the knee along with other specialized surgical tools that allow for the repair to be done without a larger, open incision. ACL repair can occur if the ligament has not detached from the bone, is a partial tear, or has torn in the portion of the ligament that can be repaired. Not everyone is eligible for an ACL repair, as it varies depending on the type of tear, patient age and underlying health condition as well as individual goals after surgery. Dr. Nwachukwu can assess the condition of the ligament from an MRI and can discuss your surgical options.
Why would I want an ACL repair instead of an ACL reconstruction?
Based on the individual needs of the patient, an ACL repair may be the best treatment option. Repairing the ACL allows for the patient to retain the original ligament without the need for a ligament graft. The goal of the repair is to stabilize the knee while allowing for proper healing. Dr. Nwachukwu may augment the repair with biological treatments such as bone marrow aspirate concentrate (BMAC).
What is the difference between ACL repair and ACL reconstruction?
During an ACL repair, the original ligament remains in place and is either sutured together or augmented to allow proper healing. An ACL reconstruction removes the original ligament and replaces it with a graft from the patient (autograft) or from a donor bank (allograft). Either surgery can achieve the goal of stabilizing the knee if done by an experienced complex knee surgeon like Dr. Nwachukwu.
How long does it take to heal after an ACL repair?
ACL repair can be done in an outpatient setting, allowing the patient to go home the same day. Pain medication is administered and to be used only as directed. Ice, elevating the knee, and a CPM (continuous passive motion) device may be used at home. The post-surgical protocol is similar to an ACL reconstruction, in which exercises will be given and the patient will progress to physical therapy to regain strength and range of motion.
Recovery times will vary slightly depending on the patient’s age, activity level and underlying health conditions. In general, patients can expect to return to work in about 5 days with some restriction. In 6-12 weeks, normal activities can be resumed with a full return to sport in 7 to 9 months.
For more information on ACL Repair, anterior cruciate ligament treatment, or to discuss treatment options for your knee injury, please contact the office of Benedict Nwachukwu, MD, orthopedic knee surgeon serving Manhattan, New York City and the surrounding New York boroughs.