Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Reconstruction Surgeon
Are you an athlete who participates in sports that involve jumping or quick stopping? If so, you may be at risk of tearing your anterior cruciate ligament, or ACL. An ACL injury is one of the most common injuries suffered by athletes. ACL specialist, Dr. Jeff Padalecki provides diagnosis and both surgical and nonsurgical treatment options for patients in Austin who have suffered an ACL injury. Contact Dr. Padalecki’s team today!
ACL Reconstruction as an Anterior Cruciate Ligament Treatment
The ACL is the most commonly torn ligament in the knee. The anterior cruciate ligament is in the front of the knee joint (anterior) and crosses (cruciate) in front of the PCL. Along with the other major restraints including the posterior cruciate ligament (PCL), medial collateral ligament (MCL), and posterior lateral complex (PLC), the knee joint is effectively stabilized during movement. The ACL also contributes to providing stability of the knee with rotational movements or twisting. In many cases, the ACL is injured during athletic participation, but may also happen with certain other traumatic injury patterns to the knee. An anterior cruciate ligament treatment, typically an ACL reconstruction, is required in the majority of patients to return knee stability and function following an injury. Dr. Jeff Padalecki, knee surgeon, specializes in ACL surgery in patients living in Austin, Round Rock, and Cedar Park, Texas communities.
At the time of an ACL injury to the knee some patients report hearing a pop, and will notice that their knee will begin to swell and have pain. In most cases, due to the nature of injury, the ACL typically does not heal on its own. Certain patients can be treated with rehabilitation, but this is recommended for older patients, or those with a lower activity level. In younger, active patients surgery is usually recommended to help patients get back to their level of pre-injury activity.
How is an ACL Reconstruction Surgery Performed?
If it is determined that ACL surgery will be the next step, and if the ACL cannot be repaired, Dr. Padalecki may decide to use a tissue graft to reconstruct the damaged ligament. Often, reconstruction is preferable to repair in order to give the patient the best possible outcome from their surgery. Whenever possible, Dr. Padalecki will perform ACL reconstruction surgery arthroscopically. This minimally invasive technique uses a small surgical camera (arthroscope) inserted into the knee through a small incision. Dr Padalecki inspects the knee carefully to determine the full extent of injury and to determine if other structures within the knee are damaged. He then uses small, specialized, surgical instruments to perform the ACL reconstruction within the knee. The damaged ligament is removed from (debridement) and a tissue graft called an allograft (from a donor) or an autograft (from the patient) is used so replace the damaged ACL. Dr. Padalecki will secure the new ligament into the exact location of the original ACL. Surgical sutures, screws or wires may be used to secure the new ACL into the proper anatomical position, allowing it to heal properly.
What Occurs After ACL Reconstruction Surgery?
A thorough rehabilitation program will follow ACL reconstruction surgery. It is very important for patients to adhere to the prescribed rehabilitation protocol in order make a full recovery. After surgery patients are placed into a brace and will begin using a passive motion device within hours of surgery. Patients will use crutches for approximately two weeks and will then continue physical therapy to restore range of motion and strength in the knee. It may be beneficial for patients to use a functional-type brace once they return to activities for the first year.
For additional information on ACL reconstruction as an anterior cruciate ligament treatment, please contact the office of Dr. Jeff Padalecki, orthopedic knee surgeon in Austin, Texas.