The anterior cruciate ligament, or ACL, is one of two large ligaments in the center of the knee. It connects the thigh bone, the femur, and the shin bone, the tibia. The ACL is one of the main stabilizers of the knee and provides support throughout the knee’s range of motion. A knee without an ACL is frequently unstable during sporting activities.
An ACL tear is one of the most common sports injuries. It is usually the result of a non-contact incident, though direct trauma to the knee, such as a tackle in football, can cause an ACL injury. While most ligaments are located outside of a joint, the ACL is located within the knee joint. This environment does not allow the ACL to heal itself once it has been torn. This also causes repairs of the ACL to fail. For this reason, once the ACL is torn, it must be reconstructed to restore normal knee stability.
Studies indicate it is possible to reduce the risk of an ACL tear. Athletes who undergo a plyometric jumping program preseason, concentrating on appropriate landing technique, are less likely to sustain an ACL injury than the general population. Also, correcting any strength or flexibility imbalances can help reduce the risk of an ACL incident.
If surgery becomes necessary, Ortho Four States will perform an all-inside ACL reconstruction, which we feel is the optimal technique. Our specific approach may reduce pain postoperatively, while enhancing appropriate tunnel placement within the ACL footprint during surgery. Additionally, Ortho Four States posterior graft harvest places the biggest scar behind the knee, improving cosmesis to minimize evidence of surgery to the knee.
Post-operatively, patients can expect rehabilitation to last an average of 6-9 months, though longer times are not uncommon. Physical therapy is critical to a successful outcome after an ACL reconstruction. Compliance with our Physical Therapy program is the best way to ensure a healing result.
The ACL is one of the main stabilizers of the knee. It is also one of the more commonly injured ligaments and has a limited capacity to heal. If a person is unable to perform certain activities due to an ACL tear, surgery plus a course of physical therapy can restore stability and function.
Doctor Jonathan L. Grantham is an orthopedic surgeon specializing in general orthopedics and sports medicine, with an emphasis on ACL Reconstruction, Rotator Cuff Surgery and Arthroscopy of the shoulder, knee, hip, elbow, and ankle. He is one of Ortho Four States 10 Fellowship Trained and Board Certified Orthopedic Surgeons, on a mission to restore patients’ quality of life.
Located only minutes from downtown Joplin, MO, Orthopaedic Specialists of the Four States (Ortho Four States) serves the entire Four State Area of Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma with a patient-first approach to world-class Orthopedic, Spine and Sports Medicine care.
Call us, we make it easy. No referral necessary. Accepting most insurance including Blue Cross Blue Shield and many Freeman and Mercy directed plans.
444 Four States Drive, Ste. 1 Galena, Kansas 66739 | Joplin, MO: 417.206.7846 | Galena, KS: 620.783.4441 | Toll Free – Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma: 877.783.4441