ACL Reconstruction / Revisions - Dr. Heckman
Your San Antonio Orthopedic Specialist

What is ACL Surgery?

ACL surgery is a type of knee surgery that is performed to repair the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). The ACL is one of the four major ligaments in the knee, and it helps to stabilize the joint especially with pivoting activities. When the ACL is torn, it can cause instability in the knee joint, which can lead to pain, disability and further knee injury. ACL surgery involves either rarely repairing the existing ligament or more commonly replacing it with a new one. The patient’s own tissue, an autograft, or donor tissue, an allograft, may be used at the preference of the patient or based upon the recommendation of the surgeon considering such factors such as the patient’s age, activity level, pre-existing arthritis and prior surgeries.

The ACL surgery itself is performed using arthroscopic techniques, which involves making small incisions into the joint and using a camera and specialized instruments to repair or replace the damaged ligament.  The surgery can be performed as an outpatient procedure or on a 23-hour admission for pain control. The procedure is usually done under a general anesthetic with a nerve block to assist with any post-operative pain. The surgery itself will typically take about one to two hours.

New Patients Welcome

We are accepting new patients. Acute injuries will be scheduled as quickly as possible. Please contact the office to make an appointment.

Your San Antonio

Orthopedic Specialist

Dr. Heckman specializes in arthroscopic surgery of the knee and reconstruction of the ACL. He routinely performs surgery to revise or correct problems for patients who have had prior ACL surgery due to re-injury or persistent instability.

ACL Revision

Patients who have had their ACL repaired or reconstructed may unfortunately experience problems with their knee after the surgery. The knee may be re-injured and the ACL graft torn or more commonly they may never feel that they can “trust the knee” after their surgery because it feels unstable when they perform twisting or pivoting activities.

An ACL revision surgery can be performed to replace a torn ACL graft or to make the knee feel more stable for sports and activities. The procedure can be done with either an autograft (the patient’s own tissue) or an allograft (donor tissue) depending upon the age of the patient and the condition of the knee. Rehabilitation after the procedure is typically no different than that for any other ACL reconstruction.

ACL Surgery Recovery & Rehabilitation

The recovery process for ACL surgery typically involves physical therapy both before and after the surgical procedure to help restore strength, motion and flexibility to the knee joint. This includes a program of exercises, stretches, modalities and other rehabilitation techniques. It is important to follow your doctor’s and physical therapist’s recommendations closely during this time to promote healing and reduce the risk of complications or setbacks. The goal of rehabilitation is to get the patient up and moving as quickly as possible minimizing any loss of motion or strength. ACL surgery is a very successful procedure, and it is expected that a high percentage of patients who have the surgery will be able to return to their previous level of activity or sports.