ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) Compendium

The most comprehensive ACL resource on the Web

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Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injury (ACL Injury) occurs about 200,000 times a year in the USA. ACL surgery is performed about 60,000-75,000 times a year in the USA. The torn ACL remains one of the most important knee injuries in sports medicine. ACL reconstructions are performed when an individual sustains an ACL tear that is not adequately controlled with an ACL brace or the completion of an appropriate ACL rehab program.

ACL injury is seen more often in women than men, if you account for participation rates in sports. The incidence of injury is higher in people who participate in sports like soccer, basketball, football, and skiing. As girls are generally not as skeletally mature as women, girls basketball has relatively high rates of ACL injury. An ACL tear usually occurs with: (1) low-velocity, non-contact, deceleration injury, like landing from a jump or (2) a contact or collision knee injury with a rotational component, twisting, bending, and hyperextension. ACL injury can occur from seemingly simple activities.

ACL Surgery is often referred to as: ACL reconstruction, ACL replacement, ACL repair or just plain ACL knee surgery. The torn ACL is actually replaced or reconstructed with a tendon graft in most cases. Children will sometimes have a true ACL repair.

About half of all patients with an ACL injury also have a torn meniscus. A lateral meniscus tear occurs more commonly with an acutely torn ACL. These are usually vertical tears in the posterior horn. Chronic ACL tears are usually associated with medial meniscus tears. These meniscus tears are often classified as oblique, horizontal, radial, flap, undersurface, degenerative, bucket-handle, or displaced.

ACL surgery has a long term success rate of about 75-95%, which means most people get a good return of stability and activity. The current ACL surgery failure rate is about 8%, due mainly to recurrent instability, graft failure, knee pain and knee stiffness. The ACL reconstruction can be done more than once (ACL revision).

ACL rehabilitation can last several months, including multiple trips to physical therapy and the gym. It is essential for complete ACL recovery. ACL braces are used with and without surgery on the ACL ligament. They are not always needed, and do not guarantee injury prevention, but can offer extra support.

General ACL Information / Torn ACL / ACL MRI / ACL FAQ

ACL Injury Videos

Warning! Some of these videos are graphic.

ACL Surgery Video

ACL Graft Types. How Do You Choose?

ACL Injury And The Female Athlete

ACL Rehabilitation / ACL Therapy / ACL Exercises

ACL Braces & Functional Bracing

Second ACL Surgery ("Repeat" Or "Revision" ACL Surgery)

ACL Bulletin Boards / ACL Message Boards / "Patient To Patient" Forums

Patient's ACL Links And Personal Testimonials

Less than a year after having my rotator cuff repaired by Dr. Hyman my shoulder is better than the one that wasn't injured. The recovery time was so fast my wife thinks I have some kind of super healing power.
- HJ