How We Can Repair Your ACL With Knee Arthroscopy

Athletes and older adults are the groups of people who most often have injuries to the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), though for different reasons. People who play sports, like basketball and soccer, that require stopping fast and changing direction quickly are at greater risk of ACL injury. In older adults, the ACL, along with other tissues, begin to degenerate and simply aren’t as strong as they once were. 

Regardless of how you injured your ACL, you’re probably interested in how you can recover, quickly and completely. Dr. Arash A. Dini, our orthopedic surgeon with offices in Encino and Los Angeles, often recommends knee arthroscopy as the best method of ACL repair. 

Why you need your ACL

Your ACL stabilizes your knee so that you can walk, run, and jump. It’s a thick band of tissue that connects the bone in your thigh to the bone in your shin. It crosses the middle of your knee and allows for the amazing mobility of your knee joint. 

When you have your foot firmly on the ground and twist suddenly, you can tear your ACL. Other common ways you might injure your ACL include landing wrong after a jump, stopping very suddenly, changing direction quickly, or suffering a blow to the knee. 

Treatments for a torn ACL

The best treatment for your ACL injury depends on several factors, like your age, your lifestyle, how badly your ACL is torn, and whether or not you also have injuries to other ligaments or tissues in your knee, such as your meniscus. 

If you only have minimal damage to your ACL and you don’t plan on playing sports regularly, Dr. Dini may recommend a course of physical therapy and allow the ligament to heal with time. 

If, however, you’re active and want to get back to your regular training, or your ACL is badly torn, Dr. Dini is more likely to recommend knee arthroscopy, a minimally invasive surgery to repair your ligament. 

Repairing your ACL with knee arthroscopy

You may be wondering exactly what “minimally invasive” means. In traditional “open” surgery, your doctor makes a large incision and must cut through your muscle to get to your torn ACL. In some cases, traditional surgery is the best choice, but in many cases arthroscopy is the better option. You have less risk of infection, and your recovery time is likely to be far shorter. 

An arthroscope is a flexible tube that has a light and a camera attached. Dr. Dini makes several small incisions, inserts the arthroscope, and uses the other openings to insert the tools necessary to repair your ACL. 

In some cases knee arthroscopy involves ACL reconstruction, which means Dr. Dini grafts another ligament from your body, or from a donation, to your bones. The graft allows your body to grow new ligament tissue. 

Knee arthroscopy is an outpatient procedure, which means you can go home after it’s over. We provide you with thorough instructions ahead of time, so you know exactly what to expect and can prepare for your recovery. 

When your recovery is underway, Dr. Dini will likely recommend physical therapy with the goal of helping restore the functionality of your knee. Full recovery can take as long as a year, although most people return to their regular activities after about six months. 

If you’d like to learn more about your ACL, knee arthroscopy, or what to expect when you’ve injured your ACL, schedule an appointment with Dr. Dini. You can book an appointment at our office that’s most convenient for you with a simple phone call.

You Might Also Enjoy...

How PRP Injections Can Help Your Joint Pain

Any form of chronic pain can disrupt your life, and joint pain is no exception. When your knees hurt, it’s hard to walk, and hand and wrist pain can make even simple tasks difficult. PRP injections may be a solution.

Tips for Avoiding Arthritis

Do you have a family history of arthritis? Is it something you worry about developing? Although you can’t control all of the factors that contribute to arthritis, there are a few things you can do that may help limit your risk.

Tips for Managing Joint Pain Over the Holidays

Chronic joint pain can put a damper on the joy of the holiday season, but if you prepare and plan ahead of time, you may be able to avoid additional pain. Here are our tips for managing joint pain during the winter holidays.