If you’ve torn or injured the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in your knee, your joint will likely be swollen and unstable and you will experience discomfort or pain in the knee. If left untreated the torn ACL may also result in further joint degeneration, making it difficult to walk or run comfortably. Otoño Silva, MD, founder of Interventional Orthopedics of Washington in Bellevue, Washington, uses regenerative medicine interventions with image guidance for precise placement into the affected structure to help you heal a torn ACL. To find out if you can repair your ACL without surgery or corticosteroids by instead stimulating your own natural healing response, contact Interventional Orthopedics of Washington by phone or using the online form.
ACL Tear Q & A
What is an ACL?
Your ACL is a ligament inside your knee that crosses over the posterior cruciate ligament. These two ligaments allow your knee to remain stable while you move back and forth and twist from side to side. Your ACL stabilizes your knee when it rotates and prevents your tibia (shinbone) from sliding in front of your femur (thigh bone).
How did I tear my ACL?
Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears are common in women, men, and children who engage in sports, dancing, and other activities that require sudden moves, twisting, leaping, or jumping. Your ACL becomes more susceptible to injury with age, but anyone can experience an ACL tear at any point in life.
Your doctor grades your ACL tear based on the severity:
- Grade 1: slightly stretched, but able to keep the knee somewhat stable
- Grade 2: partially torn, stretched and loose with unstable knee
- Grade 3: complete tear; unstable knee
What options do I have to treat a torn ACL?
Not so long ago, repairing a grade 2 or 3 ACL tear required a surgical intervention that involves removal of the ACL and a graft replacement. This type of surgery inserts the ligament graft at an unnatural angle and also doesn’t restore nerve function to the ACL. This results in permanent changes to the biomechanics of the knee which can expose you to significant long-term risks and slow rehabilitation. Many patients who undergo ACL surgery never fully recover mobility, have trouble with balance, and may develop arthritis over time. For these reasons and more, preserving your ACL is always be better than a replacement and results in faster rehabilitation.
Luckily, advances in technology have allowed Dr. Silva to provide an alternative to surgery that preserves and repairs the ACL using advanced cellular medicine. This regenerative treatment maintains your ACL’s natural position as it repairs the torn tissue in Grade 1, 2 or 3 ACL tears. Even if you’ve already had an ACL repair surgery in the past, Dr. Silva can use these advanced techniques to treat ACL grafts, and lingering pain and dysfunction in the knee.
If you have an ACL tear, Dr. Silva may recommend attempting conservative approaches before utilizing regenerative medicine. Some options can include:
- Physical therapy — strengthens surrounding muscles and soft tissues to better support your knee
- Knee Brace — supports the knee while the ACL heals and allows you to continue to participate in activities
When conservative methods fail, it might be time to see Dr. Silva. To find out if you’re a candidate for his advanced cellular therapies aimed at helping you avoid surgery and preserving and repairing your ACL, schedule a new patient consultation with Dr. Silva by calling 425-326-1665, or use the “Book Appointment” button.