The anterior cruciate ligament, ACL, is one of four ligaments in your knee that keeps the knee stable. If you injure your ACL, turn to the experienced knee specialists at Franciscan Health to provide the most advanced repair options.
The ACL is in the center of your knee and prevents the shin bone (tibia) from sliding forward on the thigh bone (femur). A sudden twist or turn while playing a sport may result in a torn or ruptured ACL. ACL injuries may also occur from falls or trauma, like bicycle or car accidents.
Almost immediately after the injury, you will have pain and swelling in the knee. You may also have feelings of instability or your knee giving out on you. Diagnosing ACL injuries includes a physical exam with MRI and X-ray imaging procedures. A torn or ruptured ACL usually requires surgery. `
Due to the way the ACL tears, it is oftentimes unable to be repaired or sewn back together. ACL reconstruction surgery involves replacing the torn tendon with another piece of tissue (called a graft) from one of your other tendons. Possible grafts can come from the patellar tendon, quadriceps tendon or hamstrings. Today, ACL reconstruction is most often a minimally invasive arthroscopic surgery. After your surgery you’ll work with a Franciscan Health physical therapist to rebuild strength and range of motion. Full recovery from ACL reconstruction surgery takes between six to 12 months.
Depending on your age and level of physical activity, you may not need surgery for an ACL injury. The nonsurgical ACL injury treatment your physician may prescribe might include: