ACL injuries are prevalent among sports players. ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) is a tissue band in the knee that gets damaged when it tears or stretches. It typically happens when you sharply turn or make sudden movements while jumping or running.
A healthy ACL holds the bones of the knees together and ensures stability. If it gets injured or damaged, it’ll be very hard to play sports or even walk as it gets painful to place pressure on the knee. If the ACL gets torn completely, you’ll experience extreme discomfort and your orthopedic surgeon will most likely recommend ACL surgery.
Unfortunately, with any injury that involves surgery, there are always risks involved. If additional complications arise after surgery and the ACL isn’t healing properly, additional corrective surgery could be required. These complications are sometimes the result of accidental medical negligence. From here, typically a lawyer is hired and an ACL Knee Surgery Expert Witness is needed to evaluate the case.
Dr. Powell is a Board Certified and experienced orthopedic surgeon with 30+ years of orthopedic surgical experience. He offers his services as an orthopedic surgery expert witness by providing a thorough evaluation of the ACL Knee Surgery medical records, to help determine if orthopedic medical negligence has occurred.
What is ACL Reconstruction?
ACL reconstruction surgery helps to restore the stability of the knee to maintain full movement. The techniques of the reconstruction surgery vary, along with the graft materials. The options depend on the symptoms of the patient, as well as the type and level of their activity. The surgery uses different grafts, including:
Patellar Tendon Autograft
A small part of the tendon is taken out from underneath the kneecap and is used to replace the torn or damage ACL.
Hamstring Tendon Autograft
The surgeon cuts out a small area of the hamstring of the patient and it is then used to make a new ACL.
Quadriceps Tendon Autograft
A small section is taken out of the tendon over the kneecap. This is typically done if there was an ACL surgery failure previously. It is also a larger graft for heavy or tall patients.
This is taken from a deceased donor. The major advantage of this graft is that it is less painful as you don’t have to go through the cutting of two areas of your body. The surgery time is also reduced. However, this surgery comes with higher risks and complications, including bacterial infection, and viral transmissions.
ACL reconstruction surgery usually takes between 1-2 hours, and general patients can go home the same day. Crutches are often needed for a few weeks to prevent pressure from being placed on the knee. Once the ACL heals, patients typically will undergo physical therapy as a part of ACL reconstruction rehabilitation to strengthen the ligaments and muscles.
ACL Reconstruction Malpractice Cases
There might be some problems after ACL surgery, including deficits to the strength and motion of the knee, infection, inability to return to sports, or additional ACL injury. This often leads to malpractice cases.
According to a research, surgeons are likely to win the litigation after the only complaint is limited motion range and pain. However, surgical error or other negligence drastically reduces their chances. There have been many cases in which the verdict has been in favor of the surgeons.
ACL Reconstruction FAQs
All ACL related surgeries are serious, and should be seen by a professional orthopedic surgeon. Minor ACL injuries typically don’t require any surgery and can be treated with a brace, as well as elevation, icing, and medication. Surgery is needed when the injury or damage is severe.
The most common sports that involve ACL injuries are football, basketball, and soccer. Sports ithat require sudden movements, change of directions, or pivoting are most commonly associated with ACL injuries. Any sport in which the knee experiences an impact from the front or the side.
The symptoms include:
- Sensation of your knee shifting during a pivoting activity, cutting, or during sports
- Feeling of your knee giving away even while walking
- Instability of the knee
It is highly recommended to start physical therapy sessions as soon as possible.
ACL reconstruction surgery comes with some risks and complications, including:
- The graft being rejected by the immune system
- Restricted motion range
- Weakness or stiffness of knee
- Disease transmission
- Constant pain
- Blood clots or bleeding