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ACL Tear Surgery - Diagnosis & Recovery

Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear commonly occurs in people who have an active lifestyle and play physical sports. ACL tear does not heal on its own and needs prompt treatment to restore normal function. If you are looking for the most effective ACL reconstruction treatment, get in touch with Pristyn Care near you today.

Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear commonly occurs in people who have an active lifestyle and play physical sports. ACL tear does not heal on ... Read More

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Best Orthopedic Doctors for ACL Surgery in India
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    Dr. Kamal Bachani (3uCOy0grwa)

    Dr. Kamal Bachani

    MBBS, MS(Ortho), M.Ch(Ortho)

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    32 + Years

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    Joint replacement

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    22 + Years

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    Dr. Venu Madhav Badla (iU0HlZxGtA)

    Dr. Venu Madhav Badla

    MBBS, MS- Orthopedics

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    20 + Years

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  • What is ACL Tear?

    An anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury is a tear or sprain on the anterior cruciate ligament in the knee. The anterior cruciate is a ligament located on the inside of the knee joint. It usually occurs in individuals who participate in athletic activities such as football, basketball, soccer, etc. In many cases, individuals hear a pop or feel a popping sensation in the knee when an ACL injury occurs. 

    The treatment procedure for ACL depends on the type and the severity of the injury. Severe ACL tear typically does not heal on its own, and prompt treatment is required to get rid of constant pain and discomfort. In minor cases of ACL tear, rest and rehabilitation exercises help you regain strength and stability.

    Disease name

    ACL Tear

    Surgery name

    ACL Reconstruction


    2 Hourse

    Treated by

    Orthopedic Surgeon

    ACL Tear Surgery Cost Calculator

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    How is an ACL Injury Diagnosed?

    During diagnosis, a doctor conducts a physical exam to check the swelling and tenderness in the knee. A doctor also moves the knee into various positions to assess the range of motion and overall function of the joint. Moreover, a  doctor suggests a variety of imaging tests to rule out other causes and to determine the severity of the injury. These tests may include:

    • X-rays: X-rays are usually performed to rule out a bone fracture. However, X-rays don’t show soft tissues, such as ligaments and tendons.
    • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): This test involves radio waves and a strong magnetic field to create images of both hard and soft tissues in your body. An MRI can show the extent of an ACL injury and signs of damage to other tissues in the knee, including the cartilage.
    • Ultrasound: In this test, sound waves are used to visualize internal structures, ultrasound may be used to check for injuries in the ligaments, tendons, and knee muscles.

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    What are the Different ACL Reconstruction Treatment Options?

    Different treatment options for ACL reconstruction surgery are as follows:

    Surgical treatment option:

    Non-surgical treatment options:

    Non-surgical treatment options include:

    Why Choose Pristyn Care?

    Benefit Others Pristyn Care
    CutsMultiple Minimal
    Blood LossMaximum Minimal
    Scars & StitchesYes Minimal
    RecoveryLow High
    Follow Up ConsultationNo Yes
    TechnologyTraditional Advanced
    Hospital DurationLong Short
    No Cost EMI No Yes

    Benefits of Arthroscopic ACL Reconstruction Surgery

    Arthroscopic ACL reconstruction surgery provides various benefits, including:

    • Restoration of knee function:  ACL tears significantly inhibit the functionality of the knee. ACL repair surgery is the best option to restore knee stability and function effectively. The surgery addresses the root cause of the problem. It permanently repairs the torn ACL, restoring stability to the knee and allowing the patient to return to normal activities. 
    • Significant symptom relief: ACL tears can cause a variety of symptoms, including moderate to severe pain, lack of functionality, swelling, and weakness. Non-surgical treatment options are effective only in reducing the symptoms. The torn ACL is not healed through them.  Arthroscopic ACL reconstruction surgery can significantly reduce the pain, swelling, and limitations in the affected knee joint. 
    • Prevention of further damage: ACL repair surgery helps in preventing damage to the cartilage and surrounding knee structures. ACL repair surgery stabilizes the knee and prevents strain and possible injury to the rest of the knee structures. 
    • Cost-effective: The surgery also tends to be the most cost-effective than physical therapy, bracing, and other non-surgical treatments. 

    Are you going through any of these symptoms

    Timeline For ACL Surgery Recovery

    The timeline for healing and recovery following anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction surgery depends on multiple factors, which encompasses everything from prior fitness level to activity goals, surgical procedure, and post-operative guidelines. However, there are a few general guidelines common to many patients. Listed below is the timeline for recovery after ACL surgery:

    Weeks 1-3:

    The initial three weeks after surgery are the most crucial for healing time. Be diligent toward good nutritional intake, and the use of ice to control excessive inflammation is critical to promote the healing. During this period, the body is recovering from surgery and requires an optimal environment to ensure the readiness of the muscles to make necessary strength gains. It is extremely important to  regain control of the leg muscles, especially the quadriceps (thigh) muscle, to achieve normal gait and improve strength. Strength regaining is helpful for activities like stair climbing and standing from a seated position. Improving mobility of the knee is also important to improve function and serves a secondary purpose for healing. It also helps in distributing vital nutrients to the healing tissues.

    Weeks 4-6:

    During this period of recovery, remodeling of the tendon replacement, or graft, occurs. If an individual uses their own tendon as a replacement for the torn anterior cruciate ligament, then the tendon must undergo remodeling. During remodeling, the tendon breaks down (or remodels) into ligamentous tissue suitable to withstand the forces required of an ACL. By the end of this recovery period, patients note a significant improvement in recovery. If no other structures were repaired in addition to the ACL, many patients may be able to walk without an assistive device or brace, provided their quad recruitment has improved sufficiently. Due to decreased inflammation, they may also regain satisfactory mobility to perform activities like bending the knee to put on pants and other physical activities.

    Week 6-12:

    In this phase, the knee is capable of taking greater loads, and individuals may note the considerable gains in functional strength. Patients begin working on more activity-specific strengthening and weight-bearing exercises, such as squats, ascending and descending stairs, and balancing. You can also begin biking with resistance. The muscles begin to recover their normal function, and gait becomes quite normalized. Since the 6-12 week phase involves a lot of repetitive activities, diligence during this phase is critical as patients focus on building lower extremity strength, endurance, and control to enable progression to impact exercises in preparation for return to work, sport, or other activities during the next phase.

    3-6 months:

    By this time period, enough healing has occurred, and the ACL has gained sufficient strength to enable patients to return to running and jumping or impact activities. Greater recovery in muscle control and stability is also typically achieved. While the ligament can be subjected to greater forces, patients usually continue to exhibit poor coordinated lower extremity function. Therefore, ensuring the exercises are executed with good form and control is imperative to avoid increased stress on the reconstructed ACL and surrounding tissues.

    Training the leg to control jumping and landing properly is necessary to minimize the risk of re-injury when the patient returns to sports or recreational activities. Once sufficient lower extremity control is noted with jumping, hopping, and squatting, individuals can return to cutting activities. Ensuring good form with cutting is essential to full recovery as rotational motions such as pivoting and cutting mimic activities that are common to mechanisms of ACL injury. Often an individual will sustain an ACL tear due to poor leg stability or control during activities such as pivoting and landing from a jump, which is why a full recovery in function is essential to minimize the risk of future injury.

    6-12 months:

    During this period, the patient starts feeling better, and the doctor usually recommends resuming physical activities such as squatting, hopping, jumping, running, and cutting. However, the 6-month time frame is typically the earliest for patients to return to contact sports, as graft healing and recovery can take up to 12 months or more. Thus, to reduce the chance of re-injury, a person must be careful to maintain monitoring of lower extremity alignment and control while performing cutting, running, and landing.

    Risk and Complications of ACL Surgery

    Like any surgical procedure, ACL surgery also carries certain risks and complications, including

    What Does Rehabilitation For ACL Injury For Athletes Entail?

    Generally, rehabilitation for ACL injuries lasts for around 4-5 weeks, but since athletes put more strain on their joints, they need longer rehabilitation periods for better movement. It also helps in preventing the recurrence of the injury. The treatment is usually performed with three goals:

    Most athletes can start training for their sports about 4-6 months after the ACL surgery, but doctors usually recommend full rehabilitation before they start participating in the sports again. The rehabilitation period can be divided into the following:

    ACL Surgery Cost in India

    The cost of ACL surgery in India ranges from Rs. 1,40,000 to 2,00,000. This is the average cost of surgery, the final cost of surgery can vary depending on various factors, including

    What are the Types of ACL Surgery Grafts?

    There are many variations of ACL reconstruction, each variation aims to give a patient the best functioning knee. The variability depends on what the graft, the new ligament, is made from.  In general, there are three main graft options, including

    It involves harvesting the central one-third of the patellar tendon from the injured knee. The patellar tendon connects the patella, or kneecap, to the tibia or shinbone. When the graft is harvested, a small piece of bone is taken from the patella and the tibia, making it a bone-tendon-bone graft.

    The graft is inserted into the knee to form a new ACL using screws, and eventually, the graft bone fuses with the surrounding bone of the femur and tibia. The advantage of a patellar tendon graft is its strong initial fixation. The patellar tendon eventually regenerates in the donor’s knee. 

    It is a group of tendons that connect to the hamstring muscles of the back of the thigh. When a hamstring autograft is used, two of these tendons are removed and bundled together using sutures to create a tissue graft. The hamstrings are usually taken from the leg undergoing ACL reconstruction. The major advantage of this method includes a very small incision to harvest the tendon.

    The chances of risk of developing patellofemoral pain or patellar tendon rupture are quite low. Though the hamstring graft does not have as strong of fixation as the bone-to-bone fixation of the patellar tendon graft, the fixation is still very strong, and fixation methods are being improved upon all the time. Additionally, like the patellar tendon, hamstring tendons also regenerate.

    It is taken from a cadaver donor and is also commonly used for ACL reconstruction. An allograft is not quite as strong as a patient’s own tissue. For a non-competitive athlete, an allograft can function at a very high level and allow a patient to return to their desired sports and activities. The main advantages of allografts include decreased operative time, less post-operative pain, and no need for harvesting incisions.

    There is always a minuscule risk of contracting a disease from the tissue because the tissue comes from someone else. However, advancements in screening and sterilization make this risk exceedingly small. Furthermore, because these grafts are thoroughly washed and contain very little protein antigen, the risk of graft rejection is also very small. Allografts are a good option for casual athletes, athletes over 40, revision or repeat ACL surgery, and those who absolutely prefer minimally invasive surgery.

    How to Find the Best Surgeon For ACL Surgery?

    If you are looking for the best knee replacement surgeon in India, then you must consider the following factors before choosing one-

    Is ACL Tear Surgery Covered Under Insurance?

    ACL tear surgery is usually covered under insurance because it is a medically necessary procedure that is typically performed to help individuals regain stability, function, and mobility in their knee joints. ACL injuries are common among athletes and active individuals and can occur due to sudden twisting or impact on the knee.

    The coverage may vary depending on the specific insurance plan and the individual’s medical history and needs. It is important to check with your insurance provider to understand what is covered under your policy and what out-of-pocket expenses you may have to bear.

    FAQs about ACL Surgery

    What are the most common choices of graft for ACL reconstruction surgery?

    The most common choices of graft for ACL reconstruction surgery include,

    • Patellar tendon autograft
    • Hamstring autograft
    • Allograft

    Is ACL tear surgery necessary?

    The necessity of ACL tear surgery depends on the type of injury. Partial tears can be managed using stretching and strengthening exercises. Therefore, for athletic people, surgery is recommended so they can resume their sports. Long-term instability of the knee can even promote arthritis, so it is crucial to keep up-to-date with strengthening exercises and wear a brace whenever you are moving your joint.

    Can I swim after ACL reconstruction?

    Swimming is usually recommended after ACL surgery as it strengthens the quadriceps (hamstring muscle), which helps support the tendon graft. However, swimming and running should be avoided for at least 4-5 months after the surgery. If you want to, you can swim with just your arms without paddling your feet 2-3 months after the surgery with your doctor’s approval.

    Will I have swelling after knee arthroscopy?

    Swelling after surgery is normal. It is a part of the healing process. In many cases, people experience moderate to severe swelling in the first few days or weeks after surgery and mild to moderate swelling for three to six months post-surgery.

    How to sleep after ACL surgery

    A doctor usually suggests sleeping with your knee raised but not bent. Put a pillow under your foot. Keep your legs raised as much as you can for the first few days.  

    What not to do after ACL surgery?

    After ACL surgery, you must avoid the following things to promote healing, including

    • Avoid swimming for 1-2 months,
    • Avoid using a heating pad
    • Avoid strenous physical activities

    When can I run after ACL surgery?

    A healthcare provider usually suggests that 3 months are enough to recover before running again. In some rare cases, 3 months is just not enough time for the structure of the ACL graft to have healed enough to withstand the forces of running. 

    Can ACL tears be treated without surgery?

    For minor ACL injuries, protective braces and physical therapy to strengthen the muscles around the knee is enough to cure ACL tears. In some cases, a doctor suggests applying ice to the knee for a few days to get relief from the symptoms.

    How soon can you walk after ACL surgery?

    A patient can usually walk 1-2 days after the surgery. Most patients can walk without a brace or crutches by 14 days after the surgery.

    What is the recovery time for ACL surgery?

    It usually takes six to nine months to recover completely after the surgery and return to participating in sports. Patients can walk with crutches and leg brace on the day of surgery. A doctor usually suggests a rehabilitation program just after the surgery to restore strength, stability, and range of motion to the knee.

    Is ACL surgery necessary?

    The treatment option for ACL injury depends on the severity of the injury. In severe cases, surgery is necessary to relieve the symptoms. In contrast, partial ACL tears can be treated effectively with non-surgical methods.

    Can I bend my knee after ACL surgery?

    You can bend the knee one day after the ACL surgery. But it’s vital to keep the knee joint completely straight immediately after the ACL surgery. It gives the joint time to heal properly without stressing the newly-fixed ligament.

    What happens in ACL surgery?

    In ACL surgery, a surgeon replaces the damaged ligament with new ACL graft tissue. The graft is either taken from the patient’s own body or donated by someone else.

    How soon can I start playing sports after ACL reconstruction surgery?

    After ACL surgery, it is usually suggested that an individual should wait up to nine months to heal completely after the surgery. However, in some cases, an individual can start playing sports within nine months.

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    • NS

      Nripendra Sampla


      Pristyn Care in Agra offered me the best ACL tear treatment experience. The care and treatment were top-notch, and the doctors and attendants were highly skilled and caring. They were always available to address my concerns and made me feel at ease. Great job, Pristyn Care!

      City : AGRA
    • HK

      Hemant Kejriwal


      Pristyn Care in Mysore provided me with the right doctor and the right place for ACL tear treatment. The representatives were courteous and guided me through every step. The doctor's expertise and care were exceptional, and the treatment was successful. I would highly recommend Pristyn Care to anyone in need.

      City : MYSORE
    • RT

      Ram Tendulkar


      I had a fast recovery after the ACL treatment at Pristyn Care. The orthopedic surgeon's expertise and the team's support made a significant difference. The care coordinator, in particular was fantastic. He was always available.All in all, a good experience.

      City : MUMBAI
    • NK

      Nupur Keshari


      I love doing gymnastics, but I realized that excess gymnastics activities like handstands can pose a genuine problem. I heard a pop sound after my gymnastics class, and I knew something was wrong. After that, I went through immense pain and discomfort and wanted to treat it immediately. I wasn't aware of whom to consult but I found out about pristyn care through their website. I consulted pristyn care, and I must say their timely assistance made a huge difference in my life. They suggested arthroscopic surgery. I went for the surgery without any difficulty, and the recovery period was also very smooth and stress-free. The entire treatment experience was just perfect. Thanks, Pristyn for giving me a pain free life.

      City : COIMBATORE
    • MT

      Mithilesh Tyagi


      Pristyn Care in Agra provided me with a perfect experience during my ACL tear treatment. The care and treatment were advanced and top-notch. The doctors and attendant team were exceptional in their expertise and support. Thank you, Pristyn Care, for helping me get back on my feet!

      City : AGRA
    • AT

      Aradhana Thakkar


      I tore my ACL during a sports event, and it was devastating. But thanks to Pristyn Care, my road to recovery was smooth. The team was understanding and skilled. They recommended the best treatment plan for my ACL tear. The surgery went well, and the rehabilitation program was comprehensive. I'm on my way to getting back on the field, all thanks to Pristyn Care's excellent care!

      City : COIMBATORE

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