ACL Surgery and ACL Tear Treatment in Frisco, TX

ACL Tear Frisco Specialist for Reconstruction

ACL Tear Surgery in Frisco, TX

At SPORT Orthopedics + Physical Therapy in Frisco, Texas, we specialize in providing comprehensive care for various orthopedic injuries, including ACL tears. Our team of experienced orthopedic surgeons and physical therapists is dedicated to helping patients recover from ACL injuries through advanced surgical procedures and personalized rehabilitation plans.

If you suffered a debilitating ACL injury, or if you have knee pain in general, our team of compassionate orthopedic professionals is here for you. To schedule an appointment with us, please call our office at 469-200-2832 or click the button below to schedule online.

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What Is the ACL?

The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is one of the key ligaments in the knee, connecting the thigh bone (femur) to the shin bone (tibia). It plays a crucial role in providing stability to the knee joint, especially during movements involving twisting, pivoting, or sudden changes in direction.

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Knee Anatomy

Understanding the anatomy of the knee joint is essential in comprehending ACL injuries. In the following sections, we outline the most important structures in the knee’s anatomy.

The knee joint includes the femur (thigh bone), tibia (shin bone), and patella (kneecap), all of which work together to facilitate movements.

The quadriceps and hamstrings are the major muscle groups that support the knee joint and aid in movement. Tendons, such as the patellar tendon and quadriceps tendon, attach muscles to bones within the knee.

Apart from the ACL, other ligaments like the posterior cruciate ligament (PCL), medial collateral ligament (MCL), and lateral collateral ligament (LCL) contribute to knee stability. When someone suffers a torn ligament, this can lead to pain, swelling, knee instability, and more issues.

The knee joint contains articular cartilage (menisci), nerve fibers, and synovium (lining of the joint) that provide cushioning, sensation, and lubrication.

What Can Cause ACL Tears?

ACL injuries commonly occur due to sports-related activities involving sudden stops, changes in direction, or direct impact on the knee. Non-sports-related causes include falls, accidents, or trauma. An ACL injury can happen to anyone at any time. It’s important to seek medical attention as soon as you learn you may have a torn ACL.

How Can I Prevent ACL Tears?

While it’s not always possible to prevent ACL tears, certain precautions can lower the risk.

  • Engage in proper warm-up exercises before physical activities.
  • Keep the knee stable by wearing a knee brace if necessary.
  • Strengthen the muscles around the knee joint with help from a physical therapist.
  • Use appropriate protective gear during sports activities.
  • Learn and practice proper techniques for jumping, pivoting, and landing.

How Do You Know If You’ve Torn Your ACL?

When an ACL injury occurs, it often has very prominent symptoms. A torn ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) often presents a combination of symptoms that can vary in severity from person to person. These symptoms typically include the following.

  • Popping sound or sensation
  • Knee instability or laxity
  • Knee pain
  • Swelling
  • Difficulty walking
  • Limited range of motion
  • Bruising

It’s important to note that not everyone experiences all of these symptoms, and the severity can vary widely. Additionally, other knee injuries or conditions can produce similar symptoms, so it’s crucial to seek professional medical evaluation and diagnosis for a comprehensive assessment of the injury and appropriate treatment recommendations.

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Pivot Shift Test

This is a physical examination involving the evaluation of knee instability during specific movements. It is designed to test patients for potential ACL injuries. For the test, the patient must straighten their leg. The doctor will then hold their leg while moving and turning it toward the patient’s body. If the leg moves out of position, the ACL injury test is positive.

Lachman Test

This is another physical examination to assess the laxity or looseness of the ACL by manipulating the knee joint. It is the more popular of the two tests for diagnosing ACL injuries. For the test, the patient lies down on an examination table and slightly bends their knee.

The doctor places one hand on the patient’s thigh and tries to pull the leg forward with the other hand. If the affected leg moves several millimeters, the test is positive for an ACL injury.

ACL Reconstruction and Repair Surgery in Frisco, TX

Anesthesia: The patient is administered anesthesia to ensure they are unconscious and pain-free during the procedure. The type of anesthesia used (general or regional) depends on various factors and is determined in consultation with the anesthesiologist.

Preparation: The surgical team cleans and sterilizes the area around the knee to reduce the risk of infection. The patient is positioned on the operating table, and the knee is stabilized and positioned to allow access to the surgical site.

Graft Harvesting: The surgeon selects a graft source from the patient’s own tissue (autograft) or a donor (allograft). Common autograft options include the patellar tendon, hamstring tendon, or quadriceps tendon. The graft is harvested using minimally invasive techniques.

Arthroscopic Examination: Small incisions are made around the knee, and an arthroscope (a small camera) is inserted through one of the incisions. This allows the surgeon to visualize the interior of the knee joint on a monitor. The surgeon examines the knee for any additional damage, such as meniscus tears or cartilage injuries, which may require treatment.

ACL Reconstruction: Using specialized instruments, the surgeon removes the remnants of the torn ACL and prepares the bone tunnels in the femur and tibia, where the new graft will be secured. The harvested graft is then passed through these tunnels and fixed in place using screws, buttons, or other fixation devices. The graft is positioned to mimic the function of the original ACL.

Closure and Dressing: Once the graft is secured in place, the incisions are closed with sutures or surgical staples. Sterile dressings are applied to the incision sites, and a supportive bandage or brace may be placed on the knee to provide stability and support during the initial recovery phase.

Do I Need Surgery for a Torn ACL?

Not all ACL tears require surgical treatment. The decision depends on various factors, such as the patient’s age, activity level, the extent of the injury, and individual goals. For example, a partial tear may or may not require surgery. A complete tear, however, usually requires surgery.

Is ACL Reconstruction a Major Surgery?

ACL reconstruction surgery is a significant procedure, but it has become more refined and minimally invasive over time. It involves replacing the torn ligament with an ACL graft (tissue from the patient’s body or a donor).

Does ACL Reconstruction Hurt?

Post-surgery discomfort is common, but we employ pain management strategies to ensure patients are as comfortable as possible during recovery. The ACL reconstruction surgery itself should be painless, as the patient will most likely be under general anesthesia.

What Are the ACL Surgery Alternatives?

For some individuals, especially those with less active lifestyles or specific health conditions, non-surgical treatments like Frisco physical therapy and bracing may be considered as alternatives to ACL surgery.

Remember that not every ACL injury requires a surgical procedure to treat. The best way to know all of your treatment options is to speak with a qualified orthopedic surgeon in Frisco.

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What Should I Expect After ACL Reconstruction Surgery?

After ACL reconstruction surgery, expect the following during your recovery and rehabilitation period.

  • Knee pain, swelling, and discomfort, managed with prescribed medications.
  • Initial knee support with a brace or splint and possible use of crutches.
  • Early start to physical therapy for strength, flexibility, and movement.
  • Gradual return to activities as guided by your doctor.
  • Common swelling and bruising, manageable with elevation and ice.
  • Regular follow-up appointments with your surgeon.
  • Slow return to sports or activities, requiring several months of recovery.
  • Patience, persistence, and adherence to the rehabilitation plan are crucial.
  • Emotional challenges may arise; support and communication are vital for a successful recovery.

What Is ACL Surgery Recovery Like?

Recovery from ACL surgery involves a phased approach:

Initial Phase: Rest, pain management, and limited movement.

Rehabilitation Phase: Physical therapy to regain strength, range of motion, flexibility, and stability in the knee. Your surgeon may recommend wearing a knee brace.

Return to Activity: Gradual reintroduction to sports or strenuous activities under professional guidance. Avoid bearing too much weight too quickly on your knee.

What Is the ACL Surgery Recovery Time?

Recovery times vary but typically range from six to twelve months. Factors influencing recovery include individual healing capacity, adherence to rehabilitation protocols, and the extent of the initial injury. A graft failure is very unlikely, but this is another factor that can influence your recovery time.

Contact SPORT Orthopedics + Physical Therapy for Frisco ACL Surgery Today

If you’ve experienced an ACL injury or suspect you might have one, don’t hesitate to reach out to our skilled orthopedic team at SPORT Orthopedics + Physical Therapy in Frisco, Texas. We are dedicated to providing high-quality care and personalized treatment plans to help you get back on your feet and regain optimal knee function.

Schedule a consultation with us today to explore your options for ACL tear treatment and recovery. Call our office today at 469-200-2832 to schedule.