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ACL Reconstruction vs ACL Repair: All You Need to Know

14 Jul, 2022

Blog author iconHealthtrip Team


An ACL tear is one of the most common yet painful ligament injuries. This happens mostly during sports. It is the most important ligament that holds the knee altogether. If you have had an accidental partial or complete ACL tear, then you need to seek medical treatment immediately. This can be done in two ways, ACL reconstruction, and ACL repair. Here we’ve discussed the difference between the two and which one is best for you.

What is ACL?

An anterior cruciate ligament(ACL) is a primary knee stabilizer that performs a variety of important functions. Without an intact ACL, the knee joint may become unstable or buckle. Unfortunately, anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries are among the most common orthopedic injuries, particularly among youth athletes.

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Are treatment options available for ACL tears or injuries?

Due to the advancements in orthopedic technology, new techniques, and minimally invasive procedures are being introduced. Furthermore, regenerative medicine is showing promising results in orthopedics.

Traditional ACL reconstruction and modern ACL repair have helped in the healing of ACL tears.

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Understanding ACL Reconstruction:

For the majority of athletes, surgical intervention is recommended before returning to sport. ACL reconstruction was the gold standard for ACL surgery until recently.

The ACL is reconstructed by using tissue from another part of your body (autograft) to create a new ligament.

The hamstring tendon, quadriceps tendon, and patellar tendon are common grafts used for ACL reconstruction. Your surgeon will choose the type of graft based on each patient's unique condition.

ACL reconstruction surgery has been extremely effective. However, some surgeons believe that ACL reconstruction is not always the best or only option for ACL injuries.

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What is an ACL repair?

Some ligaments have the potential to heal without the need for surgery. Ankle sprains, for example, do not usually necessitate surgical intervention. The location of the ACL can complicate the natural healing of this ligament. As technology and medicine advance, new solutions emerge to overcome previous challenges.

Orthopedic surgeons have recently been researching options for repairing a partially torn ACL. An extremely strong suture is used to repair the ACL and restore knee stability. It is placed in the location of the normal ACL to hold the knee joint alignment in place while the ligament heals.

An ACL repair is a minor surgical procedure that reattaches the torn ligament. This procedure involves making small incisions and using a scope to inspect and repair the injury. The torn ligament is then stitched to the bone by the surgeon. ACL repair is rarely performed by surgeons because there is frequently no blood supply for the ligament to heal. However, ACL repair has gained popularity as an alternative to reconstruction in the last 30 years.

What are the symptoms of an ACL tear?

Typical signs and symptoms of an ACL injury include:

  • A loud "popping" sensation in the knee
  • Severe pain and an inability to engage in physical activity.
  • Range of motion impairment of your knee

ACL reconstruction vs. ACL repair:

You might get confused between the two options. ACL repair is not available to all patients but is performed by all orthopedic surgeons.

Once the ACL has been visualized, typically via MRI, your surgeon can determine whether or not your ACL can be repaired. If the patient has a repair option during surgery, this is discussed during the pre-operative visit. Many factors influence whether repair or reconstruction is preferable, including the type of tear, age, activity level, and tissue quality.

ACL repair and reconstruction have comparable post-operative recovery times, with ACL repair having a slightly faster return to perform functional movements.

How can we help with the treatment?

If you are in search of treatment for an ACL injury in India, we will serve as your guide throughout your medical treatment and will be physically present with you even before your treatment begins. The following will be provided to you:

  • Opinions of expert physicians and surgeons
  • Transparent communication
  • Coordinated care
  • Prior appointment with specialists
  • Assistance with hospital formalities
  • 24*7 availability
  • Arrangements for travel
  • Assistance for accommodation and healthy recovery
  • Assistance in emergencies

Our team is dedicated to offering the highest quality health trip and services to our patients. We have a team of highly qualified and devoted health professionals that will be by your side from the beginning of your journey.

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