About the author:

Howard J. Luks, MD

Howard J. Luks, MD

A Board Certified Orthopedic Surgeon in Hawthorne, NY. Dr. Howard Luks specializes in the treatment of the shoulder, knee, elbow, and ankle. He has a very "social" patient centric approach and believes that the more you understand about your issue, the more informed your decisions will be. Ultimately your treatments and his recommendations will be based on proper communications, proper understanding, and shared decision-making principles – all geared to improve your quality of life.

9 comments on “Can ACL Tears Be Repaired?

  • I am in my late 50s, had left total knee replacement done a few years ago. Recently I was just coming out of my house and felt a pop in back of knee and couldn’t put any weight on it. I am a little better now, but still in pain. However, can’t walk much without a brace. MRI just came back with ((Medial meniscal root tear. Besides, complex signal involving the lateral meniscus as well but no clearly defined extension to the articular surface)). Does complex signal mean lateral meniscus is torn as well? On the other hand, all tendons and other ligaments are normal (ACL, PCL, MCL, and LCL). There are also some degenerative signs: – Cartilaginous thinning especially of the medial compartment. – Underlying marrow signal involving the medial femoral condyle probably degenerative in nature. There is also a tiny intraarticular loose body seen in the notch 5 mm in diameter, as MRI report states. I am actually in pain all day, and can’t stand up long. Would you recommend the meniscus root tear to be fixed arthroscopically? or conservative therapy with steroid injection would be sufficient? Thanks so much.

    • Most root tears occur in a degenerative knee… as such there are not many of us who consider repairing these. However, if the OA is not advanced then repair is a consideration. Just be sure that you find someone who performs root repairs often. They are not easy to do.

  • Thanks so much. Does synvisc injection help meniscus root tear? And if I decide not to go for surgery due to DJD, does that run the risk of meniscal avulsion?

  • What is your opinion on doing conservative rehab for a torn ACL? (rather than surgery). I had a ski accident–torn ACL, torn medial posterior meniscus, degenerative lateral meniscus tear (no symptoms for the lateral). I’m a skier, hiking/backpacking, rock climber, yoga teacher. I want to be able to continue these activities. NOTE: I feel no instability currently in my knee. I can balance on that leg. My symptoms are an inability to flex the knee completely– this causes me a lot of pain. And of course….atrophy of the muscles at this point 6 weeks post-injury.
    Thanks so much for any opinion!

    • HI Colleen… YOU have a tough decision to make. Certain hobbies or occupations tend to make Orthopedic Surgeons recommend an ACL reconstruction vs non-operative mgmt. Rock climbing would worry me. YOu need to have a long sit down with your surgeon about your options and the activities they feel are safe for you to do.

  • Hello, in late August I tore my ACL from the femur while doing Martial arts. I was able to complete my belt testing, but was limping for several days. Currently I am walking normal, through I can feel some instability if I pivot. My ortho is recommending reconstruction with cadaver tissue, my chiropractor thinks I can rehab without surgery, and I am wondering based on your article should I try repair?

    • HI… I would not suggest a repair right now. The results are quite mixed with many failures. We have a good article on graft choices. Allograft might not be a great option for very active people.

  • Hello, I stepped down straight directly from a 2 step ladder on Nov. 25, 2019 (today is Dec. 5, 2019)and injured my left knee. I felt pain when walking straight for a few days and this week I can walk straight with minor uncomfortable feeling . MRI shows a high-grade ACL tear of the proximal half of the ACL with some fibers intact and a partial tear of the proximal attachment posterior portion MCL. Orthopedic suggested ACL reconstruction with allograft. Do you think I should do ACL repair instead of ACL reconstruction? Can regular orthopedic perform ACL repair? Your reply would be really appreciated!

    • ACL repairs should not be performed until the research shows that the results are at least not inferior to a reconstruction. AS of now, the research shows that the failure rate of ACL repairs is very high.

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