ACL injuries are one of the most common forms of ligament damage you will see, and it requires quite a robust treatment program to get back to a similar capacity as before. However, it is not all doom and gloom, and medical technology has come a long way from where it was in the past. Modern ACL repairs are far more successful than they were, so if you are wondering how ACL repair will work, whether you need surgery, and how your life will be after it, then here are a few helpful pointers.
How Bad Your ACL Injury Is
Just like most ligament injuries, ACL injuries are often subcategorized into three different levels that describe the severity. Grade 1 does not require surgery, as the ligament is only mildly stretched or otherwise impeded but still intact. Grade 2 and 3 are partial or full tears of your ACL, and they often will require stabilizing surgery. Obviously, it is far easier to rehabilitate a Grade 1 ACL tear, but the advantage of Grade 2 or 3 tears is that you completely overhaul the area and reduce the chance of the same injury occurring again, which can be more beneficial in some cases.
What Happens During Surgery?
The surgery itself is quite simple, as you are merely removing and replacing the old ligament with a new one, often from a deceased organ donor. However, the actual procedure is fascinating, as modern surgical improvements allow for tiny holes to be drilled and the ACL graft to be secured much more stably than in the past. Partial reconstructions are also now possible, although this form of ACL repair is rarer due to the lack of patients. Most people either completely tear the ACL or only stretch it, which means Grade 2 is quite rare.
What Recovery Looks Like
After your surgery, you will need to complete some rehabilitation to grow the muscle in the area and allow the ACL to heal and properly attach itself. This can take months after a full operation, but the good news is that once you have followed all the correct steps, an ACL repair usually provides you with a full return of movement. Running, dancing, and even skipping are all possible again, but now it is a good idea to monitor your knee for swelling or odd feelings as well as to get yearly check-ups when possible.