In some situations, your physician will recommend an ACL repair, rather than a reconstruction procedure. If a patient is diagnosed with a partial tear only, and the ligament is otherwise healthy, a repair without the use of an ACL graft may be an option. While an ACL repair for a complete tear is not a current standard, it is preferred in certain circumstances, especially for the treatment of acute, femoral peel off tears that are commonly seen in snow skiers. Advances in biologics and new technologies in arthroscopy, has increased the success rate among patients receiving an ACL repair. While the technique is controversial and requires further study, skiers who have an acute ACL tear (less than 3 to 4 weeks after injury), and whose MRI shows an ACL femoral peel off, may be a candidate for repair of their native ACL.
Arthroscopic surgery for an ACL repair uses an arthroscope which is a camera, smaller in diameter than a pen, with a fiber optic light source. The arthroscope is placed into the knee through keyhole size incisions that allow your physician the ability to view the entire inside of the knee on a television monitor. Then, keyhole sized surgical instruments are used to repair damaged structures. Arthroscopic surgery is minimally invasive, with an evidence-based rapid recovery. Patients having arthroscopic ACL surgery participate in an accelerated rehabilitation process.