ACL Surgery Specialist

Oakland Orthopedic Institute

Orthopaedic Surgery located in Clarkston, MI

Up to 200,000 Americans suffer anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) ruptures every year. ACL surgery at Oakland Orthopedic Institute in Clarkston, Michigan, can restore your knee stability and help you get back to your full activities. The trusted team of Paul Lewis, DO, provides the highest level of compassionate patient-driven care in the area, so call the office or click the online appointment scheduler now.

ACL Surgery Q&A

What is ACL surgery?

Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) surgery is a minimally invasive procedure to repair either a partial tear or a rupture (complete tear) in your anterior cruciate ligament. 

Because this ligament is important to knee stabilization and normal movement, a tear or rupture can lead to serious instability, pain, swelling, and other issues. ACL surgery can restore the ligament to its proper position and function. 

What causes ACL injuries?

Sports are the main cause of ACL injuries, particularly those involving sudden stops and starts, direction changes, repeated jumps, and quick pivots. Football and basketball players often experience this type of injury at both the amateur and professional levels.

Certain factors can increase your vulnerability to an ACL injury, such as poor conditioning, improper protective equipment, playing on artificial turf, and ill-fitting shoes. 

Women are two to eight times as likely to experience ACL tears. The reason for this is uncertain, but differences in male and female anatomy — for example, women have less muscle around the knees than men — and other factors like hormones may contribute.

When might I need ACL surgery?

The ACL can't normally repair itself because it doesn't have a blood supply. But, the pain caused by ACL tears may improve dramatically with conservative treatments like physical therapy and bracing.

In some cases, precision medicine treatments like platelet-rich plasma may help to stimulate healing of a partial ACL tear.

When symptoms continue after conservative treatment, or in the case of an ACL rupture, ACL surgery may be the right choice. Athletes who are anxious to resume full activity typically opt for ACL surgery rather than risk further injury by playing on a weakened ACL.

How does ACL surgery work?

ACL surgery restores the ligament using tendon tissue from your kneecap or another part of your body. Alternatively, donor tendon tissue can restore your ACL. Screws or other tiny devices position and secure your new tissue graft. 

In the coming months, a new ACL grows over your tissue graft and, eventually, completely replaces the old ligament.

In most cases, the Oakland Orthopedic Institute team uses arthroscopic surgery to treat ACL tears and ruptures. That approach uses a miniature camera and tiny surgical instruments instead of one long incision. Arthroscopic surgery allows for less infection risk, greatly reduced bleeding, and less surrounding tissue trauma. Ultimately, that allows for a faster recovery.

To learn more about ACL surgery, call Oakland Orthopedic Institute or click the online booking tool now.