The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is a critical component for the proper function of the knee. Injuries to the ACL can be extremely painful, and significantly compromise function and quality of life. Dr. David Rudman performs state-of-the-art ACL surgery at his Bergen County practice. ACL injures are common, and Dr. Rudman excels in helping athletes and non-athletes alike regain comfort and functionality through the surgical reconstruction of this vital component of the knee. Contact our office today to set up a consultation and learn more about your treatment options.
Understanding the Anatomy of the Knee
The knee is stabilized by four major ligaments - the medial collateral ligament (MCL) on the inside of the knee, the outer lateral collateral ligament (LCL), the posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) in the back, and the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in the front. The PCL and ACL cross inside the joint itself. These strong ligaments connect lower end of the thigh bone (the femur) and the upper end of the major leg bone (the tibia) and create a stable foundation that fosters proper movement of the knee. The ACL also assists anterior and rotational motion between the femur and tibia. Working together, these ligaments play an important role in walking, squatting, twisting and running, as well as any other weight-bearing movements of the knee joint.
The ACL Reconstruction Procedure
If the ACL becomes torn or damaged, it may need to be repaired through surgery. Dr. Rudman always prefers to use the least invasive, most conservative treatment method possible, and he often uses an arthroscopic procedure to repair the ACL. The arthroscopic approach uses tiny incisions, and offers a number of benefits like a short recovery time and minimized scarring.
In many cases, the ACL cannot be repaired, but instead must be completely removed and replaced. Reconstruction can be performed using tissue from the patient's own body (autograft) that has been removed from another area, such as the bone-patellar tendon-bone, hamstring, or quadricep tendon. If a patient is older, cannot tolerate autograft, or requires revision ACL surgery, donor ligament tissue (allograft) may be used instead. If a patient is younger with open growth plates their iliotibial band (ITB) may be used as graft material.
Most patients can walk out of the hospital after they undergo ACL reconstruction. Physical therapy typically begins within a few days of the procedure. Patients will also return to our office for regularly scheduled follow-up care and monitoring for the first six months. Patients are usually able to return to sports and other activities within six months, and can expect to be fully recovered within nine to twelve months. When recovering from ACL surgery or any other treatment, it is important that you follow your doctor's instructions and refrain from exerting yourself before you have healed completely. Realistic expectations for recovery always result in better outcomes.
Superior Care For Damaged Knees
If you have been diagnosed with an ACL injury, or suffer from generalized knee pain, our dedicated staff is happy to assist you in setting an appointment to visit with Dr. Rudman, a leader in sports medicine. Contact us today.