5 Key Tips for Understanding ACL Reconstruction

Dr. Kevin Plancher

Its position and function make the ACL particularly vulnerable when someone quickly slows down in sports, along with abrupt movements such as cutting, pivoting, and out-of-control landings.

June 2017 – “It is highly likely you know someone who’s torn their ACL (anterior cruciate ligament), one of the four main ligaments in the knee and a ligament that’s vital to the knee’s stability and normal movement. But for many people, ACL reconstruction surgery is a hazier concept requiring more understanding,” according to orthopaedic surgeon Kevin D. Plancher, MD, founder of Plancher Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine.

The ACL is one of the most commonly injured knee ligaments, with about 200,000 such injuries occurring each year, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Half of those patients will most likely go on to have their ACL reconstructed, especially those who play high-risk sports such as football, basketball, skiing, and soccer as well as weekend warriors who are most affected by tears. In addition, the incidents of ACL tears in young females have been noted to be increasing.

Why is this injury so prevalent? “Partly because of the way the knee is put together,” explains Dr. Plancher, who lectures globally on issues related to orthopaedic procedures and sports injury management. “The ACL is in the middle of the hinged joint and one of its jobs is to provide rotational stability to the knee as well as to prevent the shinbone (tibia) from sliding out in front of the thighbone (femur) during vigorous activity or when landing from a height.”

“Its position and function make the ACL particularly vulnerable when someone quickly slows down in sports, along…

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