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ACL Reconstruction Specialist

Maguire & Early Orthopedics

Pediatric Orthopedic Surgeons located in Santa Barbara, CA & Pismo Beach, CA

The ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) in the knee can tear so severely that it won't heal independently. If this happens to you or your child, Maguire & Early Orthopedics can help by performing ACL reconstruction surgery. Experienced pediatric orthopedic specialists Michael Maguire, MD, and Sean Early, MD, have offices in Santa Barbara and Pismo Beach, California, where they perform minimally invasive procedures to replace the damaged ACL and restore mobility. To benefit from expert ACL reconstruction, call Maguire & Early Orthopedics or book an appointment online today.

ACL Reconstruction Q & A

What is ACL reconstruction?

The ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) goes across the front of your knee. It helps move the knee and keeps the joint stable, along with three other ligaments – the medial collateral ligament (MCL), posterior cruciate ligament (PCL), and the lateral collateral ligament (LCL).

ACL reconstruction involves the surgical restoration of a badly damaged or ruptured anterior cruciate ligament. The team at Maguire & Early Orthopedics performs ACL reconstruction using arthroscopy, a minimally invasive camera-guided surgery.  

What injuries require ACL reconstruction?

If the ACL ruptures completely or suffers extensive damage, it can't repair or reattach itself, so surgery might be necessary. You or your child may also benefit from ACL reconstruction if there’s an anterior cruciate ligament injury that isn't healing using nonsurgical techniques like medication and physical therapies.

Older or less active patients often regain sufficient use of their knee to manage without surgery. However, anyone who's physically active and likely to play sports, including most children, needs to undergo ACL reconstruction to regain full knee function and strength.

What does ACL reconstruction involve?

To perform ACL reconstruction, the Maguire & Early Orthopedics team first removes the damaged ligament. They make small openings in the shin and thigh bones and attach a replacement ACL using metal interference screws, posts, spiked washers, or staples. 

The grafted ACL tissue typically comes from the patient’s hamstring or patellar tendon, or in some cases, may come from a healthy donor. The new tissue creates a framework that enables new ligament tissue to grow.

There are variations on this method that might be more suitable if your child has open growth plates (areas of cartilage that regulate bone growth in children and adolescents).

How long does ACL reconstruction recovery take?

Recovery from ACL reconstruction surgery typically takes around 4-6 months. It's vital to follow the prescribed rehabilitation program fully for optimal outcomes.

Rehabilitation at Maguire & Early Orthopedics is likely to consist of activity modification, wearing a knee brace, and a course of physical therapy.

To find out how to benefit from the team's extensive experience in ACL reconstruction, call Maguire & Early Orthopedics to schedule a consultation or book an appointment online today.