An anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) sports injury can be devastating to an athlete. The ACL is the main stabilizing element in the knee, and when the ligament is torn, it can cause a great deal of pain and reduced knee function. Failure to have the ligament properly reconstructed can cause additional problems, such as damage to other tissue in the knee and early onset arthritis.
Athletes who play high-impact sports such as soccer, basketball, and football are at the greatest risk of suffering an ACL sports injury because they are subject to the pivoting motions and direct blows that commonly result in ACL tears. In diagnosing a torn ACL, a doctor may perform a variety of physical tests to check the integrity of the ligament. MRI or X-ray imaging may also be used in making a diagnosis.
When it’s determined that an ACL has been torn, reconstruction surgery is required. Some key information about these procedures include:
- The surgery replaces the entire ACL (the ligament in the center of the knee).
- The replacement tendon will come either from a patient’s own patella or hamstring tendon or from a cadaver’s.
- If other parts of the knee – such as cartilage or other ligaments – are also damaged, they can typically be repaired during the same surgery.
At Florida Medical Orthopaedics, Sports Medicine & Spine, Dr. Ira Guttentag provides ACL sports injury treatment for athletes of all ages and skill levels. He’s a highly experienced surgeon who specializes in using minimally invasive techniques to preserve healthy tissue, helping patients experience faster recovery times with less postoperative pain. Dr. Guttentag performs ACL reconstruction surgery on an outpatient basis, so patients can return home the same day.
If you’ve suffered an ACL sports injury and would like to discuss your treatment options, contact Florida Medical Orthopaedics, Sports Medicine & Spine and schedule a consultation with Dr. Guttentag at one of the many Florida Medical Clinic locations he serves throughout the Tampa Bay area.