More Reasons to Avoid Surgery and Find an ACL Surgery Alternative
Are there reasons to look for an ACL surgery alternative? We often see lax ACL ligaments as a result of ACL surgery. A new study just published may explain why, as it found that in certain patients with allografts (an ACL that came from another patient), the ligaments were lax when there was cellular evidence that the graft was being rejected by the patient. To review, the ACL is a major stabilizing ligament of the knee and I’ve blogged before that surgically replacing it is never like the original equipment. There are three very different types of tears, and yet most patients only hear of two. First, there is a partial ACL tear (above left). These ACL tears don’t require surgery and in our experience, can be easily fixed with simple injection under x-ray guidance. The second is a complete retracted tear (above right), where the the ligament has snapped back like a rubber band. Most patients believe that when they see the phrase “complete tear” on their MRI reports that they have this kind of tear, yet unless you also see the word “retracted”, you don’t have this kind of tear. This brings us to the third type of tear, which is in between the first two. This is a complete non-retracted tear-where the MRI looks like the fibers are torn all the way through the ligament, but there’s still something holding the ligaments together because it hasn’t snapped back (above middle). We see lots of these ACL tears and have fixed many through injection without the need for surgery. So what kind of ACL tear do you have? Check your MRI report for the word “retracted”. If you don’t see it, your ACL tear may be easily fixed without ripping out the old one using the Regenexx-ACL procedure. Also, don’t be dismayed if you don’t see the term “non-retracted” as radiologists only sometimes use the term.