ACL Reconstruction/Knee Ligament Injuries Specialist

Charles J. Pearlman, MD

Orthopaedic Surgeon located in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, NY

For those who have suffered a knee ligament injury, ACL surgery can help. Dr. Pearlman can work with patients throughout Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, and around New York City, NY by utilizing the most innovative ACL reconstruction operation.

ACL Reconstruction/Knee Ligament Injuries Q & A

What is ACL Surgery?

Surgery for anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries entails fixing the ACL. An ACL reconstruction operation uses a graft to create a new ligament. The most frequently used grafts are autografts which pull from the patient’s own body, such as the patellar tendon which is found in the kneecap or a hamstring tendon. Another option is allograft tissue, which is taken from a deceased donor. Reconstruction surgery is normally employed only in the case of an avulsion fracture. An avulsion fracture is a separation of the ligament and a piece of bone from the rest of the bone. Here, the bone fragment attached to the ACL is reconnected to the bone.

An ACL operation is typically performed by making a small incision in the knee and inserting instruments through this incision; this is known as arthroscopic surgery. Occasionally, it is performed by making a large incision in the knee via an open surgery. Most surgeries are performed arthroscopically which is minimally invasive and heals quicker. 

Why Is the Surgery Performed?

Patients choose to have surgery when they:

  • Have totally torn their ACL or have a large partial tear which causes the knee to be very unstable.
  • Have gone through a rehabilitation program and the knee is still unsound.
  • Are very active in sports or have a job which requires knee stability and strength.
  • Are willing to undergo a lengthy and rigorous rehab program.
  • Have chronic ACL insufficiency, where the knee is unstable and affects their quality of life.
  • Have injured other parts of the knee, like the cartilage, meniscus, or other knee ligaments and tendons. 

What Can I Expect After Surgery?

Arthroscopic surgery is frequently performed on an outpatient basis. Patients may need to stay in the hospital for a few of days, though rarely. Your knee will be swollen and may be numb around the incision. Your ankle and shin may be bruised or inflamed. You can ice the area to lessen swelling. This will likely go away in a few days and you should begin seeing improvement in the knee shortly. To care for the incision, you need to keep it dry and clean and check for signs of infection.