ACL Reconstruction Specialist

Ronald Hess, MS, DO

Orthopedic Surgeon & Sports Medicine Specialist located in West Chester, OH

Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction is a complex, minimally invasive surgery that can restore or restore your knee function. At Beacon Orthopedics & Sports Medicine, orthopedic surgeon Ronald Hess, MS, DO, and his team perform ACL reconstruction using tendon grafts from your own knee or a donor. Repairing this ligament stabilizes the knee and can even allow you to play sports again. To set up your ACL reconstruction consultation, call one of the offices in Oxford and West Chester, Ohio, or schedule an appointment online today.

ACL Reconstruction Q & A

What is an ACL?

Your anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is one of the most important ligaments in your knee. The ACL and posterior cruciate ligament form an ‘X’ pattern inside your knee and control the joint’s backward and forward movement, working together to keep the joint stable. 

What is ACL reconstruction?

ACL reconstruction is surgery to replace a torn ACL. Dr. Hess uses a tendon, either from another part of your knee or from a donor cadaver, to replace the damaged ligament. 

You’ll need general anesthesia during ACL reconstruction surgery to numb your knee. You’ll be asleep during the surgery, so you won’t feel anything. Dr. Hess usually opts for a minimally invasive surgical technique, like arthroscopy, so the incisions are small and won’t leave large scars. 

During arthroscopy, Dr. Hess makes small incisions in your knee called portals and uses a lighted camera called an arthroscope to see the inside. He then removes the damaged ligament and places the tendon graft. 

Dr. Hess drills sockets into the thigh and shin bones then secures the graft in place with screws. New ligament tissue grows on the tendon over time. 

When do I need ACL reconstruction?

ACL tears usually happen while you play sports, especially if they place pressure on the knee joint. Your ACL can tear if you receive a blow to the knee, stop suddenly after moving quickly, or pivot with your foot planted on the ground.

After evaluating the injury with imaging tests, Dr. Hess might suggest surgery if:

  • You’re physically active and want to continue playing sports
  • Your injury happened at a young age
  • There is more than one specific injury within the knee
  • You can’t reliably stand or walk because of your injury

If Dr. Hess suggests surgery for your ACL injury, he usually requests several weeks of physical therapy to prepare. This will strengthen the other muscles of the knee and help reduce the swelling. 

How long does it take to recover after ACL reconstruction?

You will need to continue with physical therapy after ACL reconstruction to make a full recovery. Beacon Orthopedics & Sports Medicine gives you a complete recovery plan; be sure to follow all other aftercare instructions closely.

While recovery takes an average of nine months after ACL reconstruction, it could be up to a full year before you can safely engage in physical activity at your full capacity again. 

Don’t hesitate to schedule an evaluation and treatment consultation for ACL reconstruction by phone or online at Beacon Orthopedics & Sports Medicine today.