Graft Options for ACL Surgery

The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is a stabilizer of the knee and is critical for plant, cut, and twisting activities. ACL tears typically occur from rapid pivot and turning movements common in sports like football, soccer, and basketball. ACL injuries can result in knee instability which can cause pain, lack of confidence with certain activities, and degenerative changes (“wearing out”) of the knee.

ACL tears are common sports injuries and often require surgery to restore stability to the knee. A tissue graft is used to reconstruct the damaged ACL. This graft is accurately placed in the knee arthroscopically via small incisions and tools under the view of a camera called an arthroscope.

When it comes to ACL reconstruction surgery, the patient and surgeon have two main choices for the tissue graft: autograft or allograft. Autograft tissue is taken from the patient’s own body while allograft is harvested from a donor cadaver.

The four graft options are:

Each type has its advantages and disadvantages. Graft choice is a personal decision to be made by both the patient and surgeon.

If you have injured your knee and think you may have an ACL tear, the team at New Braunfels Orthopaedic Surgery & Sports Medicine is available to assist you in your treatment decisions.

David Starch, MD Sports medicine & Knee replacement; New Braunfels Orthopaedic Surgery & Sports Medicine, New Braunfels, Texas

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