For parents and athletes alike, ACL injuries can be excruciating. For a parent, the suddenness of the trauma can be alarming–and it’s difficult to know that a long rehabilitative road is ahead for your child athlete.
For an athlete, the sudden pain is shocking, and the loss of mobility can be extremely frustrating.
Successful ACL reconstruction surgery can help athletes return to high-level competition and non-athletes enjoy greater knee stability. A minimally invasive approach to ACL reconstruction, called arthroscopy, can effectively graft new tissue into place without the need for major incisions.
Your knee is a particularly complex joint, with tendons, ligaments, bone, and muscle all working together to provide smooth and reliable functionality. In some cases, due to trauma or overuse, the anterior cruciate ligament can become strained and even tear. There are two basic types of ACL tears:
As one of the two major knee ligaments, an ACL helps provide the joint with stability and mobility. In the event of an ACL tear, the knee will lose a degree of stability. This can be particularly noticeable (and challenging) for athletes who require rapid direction changes in their sport. Here are some tips on avoiding injury.
While not exclusively so, torn ACLs are common in athletes–especially when the sport requires a lot of turning. Most people think of a torn ACL as a soccer or football injury, and it’s certainly quite prevalent in those athletes.
In general, activities that put stress on the knee can cause a torn ACL. Those activities may include:
There are several types of ACL reconstruction surgery that are routinely performed at the Iowa City Ambulatory Surgery Center. The most common approach is one that uses a method called arthroscopy to minimize the size and number of incisions. During arthroscopic surgery, a small incision will be made in the knee–usually measuring a fraction of an inch in length.
Special miniaturized instruments (as well as a tiny, fiber-optic camera) will be inserted through these small incisions. Using this method, the orthopedic surgeon will remove the damaged tendon. Then, a donor tendon will be grafted into place.
There are two types of donor tendons:
There is no single “best” type of graft. Donor-type decisions are made on a case-by-case basis, so talk to your orthopedic team about your options.
The good news is that ACL reconstruction surgery is usually performed on an outpatient basis. If you have your procedure performed at the Iowa City Ambulatory Surgery Center, you’ll be able to return home the same day as your surgery. For most people, you’ll be able to walk on crutches (with a special knee brace) the same day as your surgery. Click here to view our orthopedic providers!
Most ACL reconstruction surgery patients will begin their rehabilitation shortly after surgery. This will include a significant amount of physical therapy. You and your orthopedic team will discuss what this physical therapy will focus on and what your realistic goals might look like.
In terms of timelines, most patients can expect the following:
For non-athletes, ACL reconstruction surgery may not be warranted. If you’re not running and cutting directions, you may not notice the lack of stability in your knee. Even still, you should talk to your orthopedic surgeon about whether an ACL reconstruction surgery is right for your lifestyle.
For competitive athletes, however, ACL reconstruction surgery can be essential to return to your sport.
Orthopedic surgeons regularly perform ACL reconstruction treatments at the Iowa City Ambulatory Surgery Center. In general, ambulatory surgery centers are popular among patients because they offer a combination of convenience, high-quality care, and cost savings. Check out other orthopedic procedures we perform!
If you want to have your ACL reconstruction surgery at the Iowa City Ambulatory Surgery Center, talk to your orthopedic team. If you’re a good fit, your provider or orthopedic surgeon can refer you to the Iowa City Ambulatory Surgery Center for your ACL surgery. The sooner your ACL is reconstructed, the faster you can get back on the field!
Everyone’s journey will be different, but the basic steps will often be similar. Discover where you are in the process–and what comes next. Download our resource and find out how where you are on your journey to surgery.
When we arrived at Iowa City ASC early in the morning for my knee surgery I was met by a team of people who seemed glad to be at work and glad that I was in their facility. Their overall desire to discuss what they needed from me and to assist in meeting my needs was a welcomed situation. Each person truly impressed me with their professionalism and attitude. The team was attentive to the situation at hand and I feel that contributed to the overall success of my surgery at Iowa City ASC. I did not even know that my Knee Surgery was the first of this type performed at the ASC until we were ready to go home a few hours after surgery when it was mentioned in passing. The Iowa City ASC team made it seem as though this was an ongoing procedure or process so they should be applauded. Their experience, professionalism, training and smiles made my surgery at Iowa City ASC a success.