The orthopaedic surgeons with University of Minnesota Health are internationally known for their expertise. They are committed to providing you with orthopedic care that combines excellence, service and compassion with innovative research and personalized patient education. The multidisciplinary care team at the University of Minnesota Health Orthopaedic Clinic is made up of physicians, nurses, rehabilitation specialists, and physical and hand therapists. Together, they make sure you receive up-to-date, compassionate care delivered with a cross-disciplinary approach that results in optimal treatment and outcomes.
Because a torn ACL cannot simply be sewn back together, physicians must reconstruct the ligament surgically. ACL reconstruction surgery is very common, with more than 100,000 procedures performed in the United States each year. The procedure is very successful in the long term in an overwhelming majority of cases. Before ACL reconstruction surgery, you will likely be asked to complete several weeks of physical therapy to restore range of motion to your knee. This will help ensure the best outcome of reconstruction surgery.
ACL reconstruction is a same-day procedure. Your surgeon will usually begin with a knee arthroscopy, in which a tiny camera is inserted through a small incision, enabling him or her to assess the damage and plan next steps. Then the surgeon will make other small incisions around the knee and insert other instruments to remove the torn ligament, replace it with new, healthy tissue, and attach it to the bone with screws or other devices. The new tissue, or graft, can either be taken from another place in your body, such as tendons in the knee cap or hamstring, or from a cadaver donor.
You may be asked to begin doing exercises to get the knee moving again right after you wake up from anesthesia. You will likely go home after the procedure with a knee brace and crutches, which you will need to use for one to four weeks. It will be critically important to follow the rehabilitation program you will be given for the full four to six months in order to have the best chance of regaining your ability to return to your desired activities.