ACL Repair with Allografts
A tear in the anterior cruciate ligament, or ACL, is easily one of the most common sports-related injuries an orthopedic surgeon fixes. Just about one in every 250 thousand people in the U.S. has suffered a tear in their ACL. This injury can either be treated with or without surgery, depending on the severity of the tear as well as the age and activity level of the patient.
What is an ACL
The ACL is located at the center of the knee, and overlaps diagonally in with the posterior cruciate ligament creating an ‘X’ shape. These two ligaments work together to help control forward and backward movements in the knee, as well as controlling rotational stability. While considered a sprain, a tear in the ACL can cause pain and discomfort while walking, swelling, and loss of full range of motion in the knee.
If the tear isn’t too bad, or the patient is elderly with a very low activity level, simple bracing and physical therapy may suffice to repair stability to the area. However, younger patients and those with more severe injury must consider using a graft or the patient’s tissue for repair.
Using an Allograft
While autografts, or those taken from one’s own tissue, are more commonly utilized to repair the ACL surgically, allografts are a great alternative. Some cases in which an allograft could be necessary include when the patient can’t or doesn’t want to have to harvest tissue from around the knee/thigh or be under anesthesia for too long.
An allograft is tissue from an organ donor that has been sterilized and processed. Allografts can be stored via cryopreservation for up to 10 years and have been successfully utilized in patients with flex injuries, especially when there are multiple ligaments in need of repair.
Physical therapy is the key to a successful outcome. These sessions will help to build strength, flexibility, and range of motion in the area after the procedure.
Whether you choose to use an autograft or allograft, the we are experienced in preparing and executing a customized plan for repair and rehabilitation of your ACL, so you can get back to the activities you love.