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ACL stands for anterior cruciate ligament, a ligament in the knee. For this surgery, it is removed and replaced with a surgical tissue graft to restore its function in knee mobility. Sports figures who have experienced and recovered from ACL surgery include:

  • Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots

  • Tom Brady, New England Patriots

  • Alex Morgan, USA Women's Tennis Team

  • Jamal Crawford, Phoenix Suns

  • Kyle Schwarber, Chicago Cubs

The ACL can be injured by suddenly stopping, rapidly changing direction, slowing down while running, landing improperly after a jump, or direct contact like a football tackle. 

According to studies referenced by the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS), female athletes appear to have a higher incidence of ACL injury. While the cause has not been fully determined, it might be due to differences in physical condition, in pelvis and lower extremity alignment, increased looseness in ligaments, and/or the effects of estrogen on ligament properties. 

Prompt first-aid care can reduce pain and swelling after an ACL injury by following the R.I.C.E model:

  • Rest

  • Ice

  • Compression

  • Elevation

Non-invasive options for an ACL injury are injections, anti-inflammatories, ice compression wraps, and physical therapy. If ACL surgery is needed, the surgeons at Advanced Orthopedics & Sports medicine will discuss the type of surgical tissue graft replacement that works best for you. Graft tissue can come from other tendons in your body, like hamstring tendons, the one between the kneecap and shinbone, or from a cadaver. After the torn ligament is removed, the graft is inserted via an arthroscopic procedure of small incisions. Then the patient will be required to complete a comprehensive rehabilitation program. 

Interesting Facts about ACL Injuries:

  • The ACL is one of the four main knee ligaments and is designed to stabilize the knee joints

  • There are about 150,000 to 200,000 ACL injuries reported annually

  • Basketball, soccer, football players and skiers are most at risk for an ACL injury

  • It is not uncommon to hear a popping noise in the knee when the injury occurs 

See our ACL Surgeon, Dr. Thomas LaPorta, as he discusses ACL injuries by clicking here: 


Performing ACL Repairs in Fort Myers and Cape Coral.

(239) 482-8788

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