If you have torn an ACL and found that you need surgical ACL reconstruction, you should know that the situation isn’t nearly as dire as it may have been 20 years ago. The rapid advances in ACL surgery over the past decade have had a drastic impact on the success rate of recovery in people of all ages. Here’s a few things to keep in mind before your surgery:
Find an experienced orthopedic surgeon to do your procedure. The volume of procedures that a surgeon has under his or her belt is an important indicator of how successful your surgery will be. Your health and mobility is important, and an ACL surgery is a serious procedure that requires years of practice and experience. Find a surgeon who will listen to your concerns and educate you on how to best recover form your injury.
An ACL tear is not the end of your athletic career. A torn ACL is no longer the “death sentence” of sports injuries that it was once considered to be. For example, NBA player Kyle Lowry infamously tore his ACL playing in a 2004 game for his former school, Villanova. Lowry was an NBA All-Star in the 2014-2015 season, and has never had a better season than he did last year. The advances in ACL repair and rehabilitation have made it possible to return to the field or court in just one year, and sometimes even less than that.
Knee replacement is an absolute last resort. Rest assured that ACL surgery is a highly successful procedure and knee replacement is usually reserved for elderly patients who have experienced a lifetime of knee issues. Knee replacements in the U.S. have almost doubled in the past decade to 600,000 a year, and few to none of those involved people under the age of 60. If you are over 60 and do require a knee replacement, don’t fret; you can expect a good 15-20 years of use out of your new knee before another surgery is required.
Don’t be afraid of your ACL surgery. Embrace the challenge of rehabilitation and find a qualified orthopedic surgeon who will give you the high-level treatment you deserve to be up and running as soon as possible.