Why Deal with ACL Surgery Complications?

by Chris Centeno, MD /

acl surgery complications

ACL surgery complications are real. I’ve blogged on many including early onset arthritis, poor position sense in the knee, and high re-tear rates. Is there a way to avoid those complications by avoiding the surgery altogether?

The ACL is the major front-back stabilizer of the knee. It can be torn during athletics and is often surgically replaced by an artificial ligament or a natural tendon used as a ligament. The ACL surgery takes months to rehab from and most patients aren’t back to play 12 months later, with some never getting back to where they were athletically. Is there a better way? What would the world be like if a precise injection of your own stem cells could regenerate the ligament you had?

Case in point is CT, a 45 year active guy who planted and twisted, feeling his knee pop in May of 2014. His MRI (above left) showed that he had blown out his ACL (the wavy ligament between the bones). For more info on how to read an ACL MRI, see my short video on the topic. He first saw Dr. Schultz in October of last year, with 4 months of pain and swelling and after he had been told he was an ACL surgery candidate. He wanted to avoid surgery, so we injected his ACL with a precise injection of his own stem cells on October 15th. Above is his 4 month post-injection MRI. On the left you see a wavy ACL (blown out) and on the right you see tighter and darker fibers, which is beginning to look like a normal ACL. All of this was accomplished without surgery! The last time Dr. Schultz met with him at 3 months post injection (late January), he reported 50% improvement in his symptoms.

The upshot? Can you heal a blown out ACL without surgery? We see evidence every day that tells us we can!

Chris Centeno, MD

Regenexx Founder

Chris Centeno, MD is a specialist in regenerative medicine and the new field of Interventional Orthopedics. Centeno pioneered orthopedic stem cell procedures in 2005 and is responsible for a large amount of the published research on stem cell use for orthopedic applications.
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