ACL injuries are an increasing incident. When they happen, many people will choose to go undergo an ACL reconstruction, hoping that there is some hope for their condition.
The problem is that at least 20-25% of people who injure their ACL will go on to tear the new ACL or their other ACL. That means that thousands of people each year undergo a revision ACL reconstruction.
A revision ACL reconstruction is much more involved than your initial ACL surgery. When operating, the knee surgeon needs to determine if your first ACL was performed properly and if he can therefore use the old tunnels or if we need to close up the old tunnels with a bone graft and come back in a few months to put the revision ACL in place.
Obviously waiting for the bone graft to heal and close the tunnels is very time consuming, but it is done to give you the greatest chance of a good recovery from a revision ACL surgery.
Make no mistake, the recovery from revision ACL surgery will be very similar to the recovery from your first ACL surgery. Your rehabilitation is just as critical as the surgery if you hope to return to sports during your lifetime.
Admittedly, your chance of returning to sports after a revision ACL reconstruction is lower than your chance of returning from your first ACL surgery; but the rate of return is not as low as we feared in might be in the past. Hopefully you never find yourself needing to think about a revision ACL reconstruction. But if you do, and if your second surgery is successful, then it appears that you have a reasonably good chance of returning to sports.
If you or someone you know is needing a knee surgeon or have more questions about this and other processes, give our office in Joplin, MO a call. We can set up a consultation with our doctor to determine the best course of option for you.