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ACL Tear Repair Without Surgery

Avoid ACL Surgery

Do you have an MRI-confirmed partial or complete tear of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and have been told surgery is your only option?

Perc-ACLR (percutaneous ACL repair), is Regenexx’s  patented stem cell procedure developed to treat full and partial anterior cruciate ligament tears non-surgically. ACL tears are one of the more common knee injuries we treat, and many non-retracted full and partial tears can be treated in all but the most serious cases.

The procedure is a highly precise X-ray guided injection of your own orthopedic bone marrow concentrate and can be completed in one day. It is far less invasive than surgery, and generally requires far shorter recovery times.

Repair of ACL tear without surgery

Procedure InvasivenessMuch lessMuch more
Return to Sports3 to 6 months1 year
Keep your ACLYesNO
RecoveryBrace, much less extensive PTCrutches, brace, extensive PT

Research has also shown that ACL sprains and even complete ACL tears can regrow and heal on their own,2 particularly if interventional orthopedic procedures such as the Perc-ACLR procedure are utilized. These techniques do not require surgery and employ your body’s natural healing agents to repair your ACL injury. So, if your body can heal your ACL naturally, why would you choose surgery?

See If Regenexx Is Right for You

Here are the outcomes of three patients who had Regenexx knee Perc-ACLR procedures instead of surgery. Scroll the arrow to the right to see the MRI of the ACL before the treatment and to the left to see the outcome.

The BEFORE shows a torn ACL. The area should be a dark band going diagonally, as shown on the AFTER.

Patient 1 MRI

Patient 2 MRI

Patient 3 MRI

The Regenexx knee Perc-ACLR procedure uses the healing properties of your own bone marrow concentrate, which contains stem cells, to promote healing at the site of your ACL injury. The procedure usually occurs over the course of one day. During the stem cell procedure a local anesthetic is applied, allowing the physician to obtain a small amount of bone marrow using precise imaging guidance. This is a specialized extraction technique that is unique to Regenexx and usually takes 30 to 40 minutes.

Once the marrow is drawn and processed by a Regenexx lab technician, you will have time to relax before the reinjection of the harvested bone marrow concentrate into your ACL, which is done after three to six hours. Specialized local anesthesia is applied before the reinjection using real-time imaging guidance, which in this case is fluoroscopy. MRI imaging along with X-ray contrast is used to carefully map the torn ligament during the procedure, providing a “roadmap” for the doctor to implant bone marrow concentrate into the damaged areas of the ligament. This part usually takes about 40 minutes to an hour. Patients may be asked to stay in the clinic 30 to 60 minutes after reinjection.

ACL Tear Recovery Time Without Surgery

During the first 24 hours, you should limit your joint activity/range of motion and wear the recommended boot or knee brace. Your joint will be sore for one to three days, but pain will become less severe and less frequent within five to seven days. Most patients note that they see improvement to their ACL within a month and can resume light activities and begin physical therapy.

Six to eight weeks later, patients can begin to resume more vigorous exercises and regular routines and will continue to see ACL improvement and healing month after month. Maximum ligament repair and tightening in younger patients typically occurs in three to six months and within six to nine months in older patients. However, results vary by patient and depend on the condition of the area treated, age, and general health of the patient.

If you have injured or torn your ACL, you have some important things to consider in making the best decision for your recovery, your return to sport or normal activity, and, ultimately, your long-term health. At Regenexx, our goal is to save your ACL, not replace it. The existing research and our significant expertise support the possibility for successful natural healing of ACL injuries. Skip the surgery and repair your ACL using your body’s own healing agents.

This page was last updated on November 10, 2020.

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9035 Wadsworth Pkwy #1000
Westminster, CO 80021


*DISCLAIMER: Like all medical procedures, Regenexx® Procedures have a success and failure rate. Patient reviews and testimonials on this site should not be interpreted as a statement on the effectiveness of our treatments for anyone else.

Providers listed on the Regenexx website are for informational purposes only and are not a recommendation from Regenexx for a specific provider or a guarantee of the outcome of any treatment you receive.