The traditional and current gold standard for treatment of an ACL injury is ACL reconstruction . However, many patients can benefit from an ACL repair, depending on the site of their injury. Though ACL reconstruction became the customary course of treatment for an ACL injury, improved arthroscopic techniques, and better understanding of the ACL healing capacity has shown that ACL repairs can be a good option in certain cases.
The ACL has 2 attachment points to the bone. One is on the tibia (leg bone) and one is on the femur (thigh bone). Those are the points it hooks into the bones, thus connecting them and providing stability. Most ACL tears do not occur at the bone insertions or attachment point, but occur in the mid-substance, or some point in the middle of the ligament. All of these non-attachment or mid-substance tears are best treated with an ACL Reconstruction . When the ACL tear does not occur in the mid-substance, but is pulled off of the insertion using surgery to re-attach the ligament is possible and has some significant benefits over the traditional ACL reconstruction . ACL repair maintains the natural ACL, along with its blood supply and nerve supply, making recovery quicker than a reconstruction and providing a more natural feeling knee.
However, not all ACL tears can be fixed with a repair so you should discuss your ACL injury and treatment options with your MedStar Georgetown ACL specialist.