In the United States, between 100,000 and 200,000 people rupture their anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) — a key stabilizing force in the knee — every year. ACL tears and ruptures are especially common among professional and recreational athletes. Dr. Angus Goetz performs ACL reconstruction surgeries at his Jackson, Wyoming, practice with minimally invasive techniques that limit your discomfort. If you’ve had an ACL injury, call or schedule an appointment online to learn more about your treatment options.
An anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury is the tearing or injury of one of the major ligaments in your knee. ACL injuries most commonly take place during sports that involve sudden changes in direction or jumping, such as basketball, soccer, football, skiing, or snowboarding.
You may hear or feel a "pop" in your knee when an ACL injury occurs. Your knee may swell, become unstable, and you might not be able to put weight on it. In addition, tearing your ACL can be incredibly painful.
Depending on the severity of your ACL injury, Dr. Goetz’s treatment may include rest and rehabilitation exercises to help you regain strength and stability or surgery to replace the torn ligament, followed by rehabilitation.
Typically, non-surgical treatment consisting of physical therapy and rehabilitation can restore the knee to something resembling its pre-injury condition. Dr. Goetz helps educate you on how to prevent instability and generally recommends the use of a hinged knee brace.
Older patients can often benefit immensely from non-surgical techniques after an ACL injury. However, electing for non-surgical treatment can leave you vulnerable to re-injury.
Dr. Goetz evaluates your condition and overall health before making a recommendation on whether or not ACL reconstruction surgery is the best option for you.
Dr. Goetz typically performs ACL reconstruction with a knee arthroscopy. During arthroscopy, he inserts a tiny camera affixed with a light through a small incision in your knee joint.
Dr. Goetz may make other small cuts around your knee and insert other miniature surgical instruments as the live imaging guides his precise actions. He repairs any damage he finds and then replaces your ACL.
He does this by removing the torn ligament with a shaving instrument, then constructing passageways in your bone that allow new tissue to be brought through. This new tissue replaces your old ACL.
Using screws, he then attaches the new ligament to the bone so that it’s held firmly in place.
During the healing process, the passageways inside the bone fill in so your new ligament has all the support it needs.
Successful ACL reconstruction, coupled with meticulous rehabilitation outlined by Dr. Goetz, can restore stability and function to your knee even after serious ACL tears. Athletes can usually return to playing sports after 8-12 months of recovery.
If you suspect you’ve suffered an ACL injury, call or schedule an appointment online today to learn about your treatment options.