York, ME (207) 363 3490 | Portsmouth, NH (603) 431 1121

20Hip Care
10Hip-Conditions and Injuries
Cartilage Injury
Femoroacetabular Impingement (FAI)
Gluteal Tears
Hamstring Tears
Hip Instability
Deep Gluteal Space Syndrome
Labral Tears
Psoas Impingement (Internal Snapping Hip)
PVNS
Trochanteric Bursitis
10Hip-Treatment and Surgeries
Acetabuloplasty
Chondroplasty
Femoroplasty
Gluteal Repair
Labral Debridement
Labral Reconstruction
Labral Repair
Nanofracture
Psoas Release
Trochanteric Bursa Debridement
33Knee Care
13Knee Conditions and Injuries
ACL Tear
Cartilage Injury
Discoid Meniscus
Lateral Meniscus Tear
LCL Injury
MCL Injury
Medial Meniscus Tear
Osteoarthritis
Osteochondritis Dessicans
Patellar Instability
Patellofemoral Chondromalacia
Posterolateral Corner Injury
Trochlear Dysplasia
20Knee Treatment and Surgeries
Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Reconstruction
Cartilage Restoration Surgery – Autologous Chondrocyte Implantation (ACI-Carticel)
Cartilage Restoration Surgery – Donor Graft
Collagen Meniscal Implant (CMI)
Lateral Collateral Ligament (LCL) Reconstruction
Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) Reconstruction
Meniscus Repair
Meniscus Root Repair
Meniscal Transplant
Medial Patellofemoral Ligament (MPFL) Reconstruction
Nanofracture
Osteochondral Allograft Transfer
Osteochondral Autograft Transfer (OATS)
Partial Knee Replacement (MAKO)
Partial Meniscectomy
Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL) Reconstruction
Posterolateral Corner (PLC) Surgery
Tibial Tubercle Osteotomy
Total Knee Replacement (MAKO)
Trochleoplasty
20Shoulder Care
10Shoulder-Conditions and Injuries
AC Joint Injuries
Arthritis
Biceps Tendon Injuries
Calcific Tendinitis
Clavicle Fractures
Frozen Shoulder
Labral and SLAP Tears
Rotator Cuff Injuries
Shoulder Dislocation/Instability
Subacromial Impingement/Busitis
10Shoulder-Treatment and Surgeries
A-C Joint Stabilization
Biceps Tenodesis
Clavicle Fracture Fixation
Pectoralis Major Repair
Rotator Cuff Repair
Shoulder Instability Surgery – Bankart Repair
Shoulder Instability Surgery – Latarjet Procedure
Subacromial Decompression and Acromioplasty
Superior Capsular Reconstruction
Total Shoulder Replacement

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ANTERIOR CRUCIATE LIGAMENT (ACL) RECONSTRUCTION

The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) sits in the middle of the knee and runs from the end of the femur (thigh bone) to the top of the tibia (shin bone). The primary role of the ACL is to provide knee stability. Patients who sustain a low grade ACL injury (Grade I or II) in which the ACL is still functional can be treated with a specific physical therapy program to focus on hip, core, and knee strengthening. In those patients who sustain a Grade III tear with instability of the knee, many patients, particularly young and more athletic individuals, require surgical intervention.

The goal of ACL surgery is to stabilize the knee by replacing the torn tissue with new, healthy tissue from a donor (allograft tissue) or from the patient’s own body (autograft). The new tissue must be placed in the right position in the knee and must be tensioned appropriately to restore stability to the knee. Surgical techniques have changed tremendously over the last 10-15 years. In the 1990s and early 2000s, ACL reconstruction grafts were placed centrally in the tibia (shin bone) and femur (thigh bone). However, research has demonstrated that many of these patients re-tore their ACL and developed unstable knees. Orthopedic surgeons now have a much better understanding of the anatomy of the “footprint” of the ACL and most sports surgeons now use an “Independent Tunnel” technique to reconstruct the ACL and restore stability. Dr. Welch prefers this “Independent Tunnel” technique.

Multiple grafts are available to reconstruct the ACL. Allografts (taken from a cadaver) include achilles tendon, patellar tendon, and hamstring, among others. Autografts (taken from the patient) include patellar tendon, hamstring, and quadriceps, among others. Generally speaking, Dr. Welch prefers using autograft for patients under the age of 30, as re-tear rates are lower with autograft tissue.

Post-Operative Rehabilitation

Following surgery, patients are placed in a brace that is locked straight. In those patients who only have ACL surgery, Dr. Welch encourages patients to walk with the brace in place. When the patient is sitting or lying down, Dr. Welch encourages knee range of motion exercises with the brace removed. Dr. Welch also recommends intermittent icing and straight leg raises to strengthen the quadriceps muscles. Dr. Welch recommends starting physical therapy one week after surgery. Physical therapy focuses on reducing swelling in the knee, restoring full range of motion, and eventually, restoring strength to the knee with particular emphasis placed on the quadriceps. Dr. Welch recommends advancing the physical therapy program to cutting, pivoting, and sport-specific activities only after the patient has achieved certain goals (for example, appropriate quadriceps strength, appropriate range of motion, etc.). Most patients start sport-specific training approximately 4-6 months after surgery. Most patients return to competitive sports approximately 6-9 months after surgery. It is very important to follow the rehabilitation process carefully to achieve the best outcome.