The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) are two central, flexible, strong tissues that your knee relies upon to stabilize itself as you walk, run, and perform activities during your daily life. When these ligaments tear, they have difficulty healing on their own, and living with this injury can be debilitating for even the most basic tasks. In the case of a PCL tear, the injury may be subtle and hard to detect, and there may be additional injuries to other surrounding structures in the knee.
Dr. Joseph Norris is highly experienced in providing ACL and PCL reconstruction surgery to patients who need effective, long-term treatment for knee pain. Using state-of-the-art, minimally-invasive techniques, Dr. Norris is able to create a smaller incision during your surgery, minimizing trauma to the area around your ACL/PCL and resulting in a faster, less painful recovery period.
If you’ve been living with debilitating pain in your knee after a tear or injury, it’s important to seek treatment as soon as possible, as wear and tear will only increase the damage with time. Don’t delay -- if you’re ready to restore your affected ACL or PCL and live pain-free, schedule your first appointment with Dr. Joseph Norris today.
Traditionally, there are two different methods for performing repair surgery on the ACL or PCL, defined by the muscle through which your surgeon approaches the center of your knee. While the procedures are similar, patellar tendon graft VS hamstring graft for ACL reconstruction is a choice that you and Dr. Norris will need to make together when approaching your surgery.
During a hamstring graft for ACL reconstruction, Dr. Norris will make two small cuts around your knee. In one incision, he will insert an arthroscope (a small camera) which will allow him to see inside your joint without making a large cut into your body and opening your knee fully. With your knee bent at a right angle, Dr. Norris will make an incision into your hamstring and strip tissue from your tendons, with which he will then prepare a graft. Then, Dr. Norris will remove the torn ACL and prepare a pathway for the new one which will be made with the graft from your hamstring. Holes will be drilled into the upper and lower leg bones at your knee joint, which will form tunnels that will accept the graft. The graft will be pulled through holes in the tibia and femur, and the new tendon will be fixed into the bone with screws while the ligament heals and sets. Finally, the incision will be sutured.
The procedure for a patellar tendon graft for ACL reconstruction is similar -- instead of pulling tendons from the hamstring to create a graft, Dr. Norris will instead use bone plugs from the patella. However, the patellar graft is known to potentially have a stronger immediate fixation than the hamstring, as these bone plugs are available in place of artificial tunnels where the graft can enter.
Knee replacement can be a drastic measure after a persistently painful knee injury after which the cartilage in your knee has been severely damaged or lost. Cartilage restoration is a surgical alternative to knee replacement; many patients who are under the age of 50 and generally healthy tend to do well with this option and can ultimately return to full mobility.
There are two generally accepted types of knee cartilage restoration:
If you believe this option may be right for you, schedule an appointment with Dr. Norris to evaluate and discuss your eligibility.
While both procedures are standard and safe, each of them has pros and cons that will need to be weighed against your individual needs and goals. Dr. Norris will consult closely with you during your treatment planning to determine which method is right for you.
If neither type of cartilage restoration relieves your pain, restores your range of motion and gives you the results you’re looking for, it may be time to discuss a total knee replacement. Dr. Norris will work with you at every step of your treatment to help determine what the appropriate next steps are for you.
Each body is different, therefore each patient’s recovery will be different. However, the minimally-invasive techniques employed by Dr. Norris result in a shorter recovery period -- as well as less pain and cost -- than methods traditionally used in the past. Dr. Norris will discuss your recovery timeline with you as part of your treatment plan.
Yes! Physical therapy is an extremely important element of any surgical treatment, and it will be essential to helping you restore your knee to full functionality. It’s vital to follow all of the post-operative guidelines outlined for you by Dr. Norris in order to make the most complete, effective recovery possible.