ACL Reconstruction

Matt Gavin, MD -  - Orthopedics

Matt Gavin, MD

Orthopedics & Sports Medicine located in Leesburg, VA

The ACL is one of the most commonly injured knee ligaments among athletes, and damage to it can cause your knee to give out during sports or physical activity. Orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine physician Matt Gavin, MD, specializes in ACL reconstruction at his practice in Leesburg, Virginia. If you have an ACL injury that needs expert attention, call to schedule an appointment with Dr. Gavin today.

ACL Reconstruction Q & A

What is an ACL injury?

The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is one of the major ligaments in your knee. This ligament provides stability to your knee joint and attaches your upper and lower leg bones.

A torn ACL is a common sports injury that most often occurs when athletes perform activities that require sudden changes in direction, such as soccer, basketball, football, downhill skiing, and gymnastics.

The following types of movements and activities may create enough stress in your knee joint to injure your ACL:

  • Landing incorrectly from a jump
  • Pivoting with your foot planted
  • Changing direction or stopping suddenly
  • Falling on your knee

What does ACL reconstruction involve?

During ACL reconstruction, Dr. Gavin removes the torn or damaged ligament from your knee and replaces it with a graft made from tendon. The tendon graft may come from muscle tissue in your own body, or it may come from a donor. Dr. Gavin discusses your best options for a tendon graft during your consultation.

To attach the tendon graft to your knee joint, Dr. Gavin drills small sockets into your thigh bone and shinbone. Then he inserts screws in each bone to secure both ends of the tendon graft. The graft acts as scaffolding for healthy new ligament tissue to grow.

When is ACL reconstruction necessary?

ACL reconstruction is a common procedure in athletes with ACL tears or injuries. Without treatment, an ACL injury may cause your knee to remain unstable and prevent you from returning to your sport or regular activities.

About 50% of ACL injuries occur in conjunction with damage to the meniscus, articular cartilage, or other ligaments in your knee. ACL reconstruction may be necessary to treat extensive knee damage and provide relief from knee pain.

What should I expect from an ACL reconstruction procedure?

During your initial consultation, Dr. Gavin thoroughly examines your knee and observes your range of motion.

Depending on your individual condition, he may recommend physical therapy prior to your ACL reconstruction surgery. This therapy allows your knee to achieve full range of motion while swelling goes down.

After surgery, Dr. Gavin provides you with information on how to manage your pain and successfully rehabilitate your knee.

If an ACL injury is keeping you from enjoying sports or other activities, call to schedule an appointment with Dr. Gavin today.