Exploring ACL Reconstruction: From Diagnosis to Rehabilitation with Shane Hanzlik, M.D.

Have you suffered a knee injury that won’t seem to heal? Are you an athlete worried about getting back in the game? If you’re experiencing knee instability, pain, or swelling, you might have an Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) tear.

What is the ACL, and Why is it Important?

The ACL is one of the key ligaments in your knee, acting like a strong rope to stabilize the joint and control its movement. When the ACL tears, it causes pain and discomfort and can seriously limit your ability to walk, run, or participate in sports.

Diagnosing an ACL Tear at ROC

At ROC, we utilize the latest diagnostic tools to assess your knee accurately. I will conduct a thorough physical exam, carefully evaluating your knee’s range of motion and stability. We might also use advanced imaging techniques like MRI to visualize the extent of the tear and any additional damage.

ACL Reconstruction: A State-of-the-Art Procedure

While minor ACL strains might heal with rest and rehabilitation, a complete tear typically requires surgery. ACL reconstruction is the most common and effective treatment. At ROC, we offer various surgical techniques tailored to your individual needs:

  • Quadriceps tendon autograft: A portion of your quadriceps tendon is used to replace the damaged ACL.
  • Patellar tendon autograft: A portion of your patellar tendon is used to replace the damaged ACL.
  • Hamstring tendon autograft: Tendons from your hamstring muscles are harvested and used for reconstruction.
  • Allograft: In some cases, we might use a donor tendon for the graft.

We’ll use minimally invasive arthroscopic techniques during the procedure, making small incisions and using specialized instruments to repair the ACL. This approach minimizes trauma, promotes faster healing, and reduces scarring.

The Road to Recovery: ROC Orthopedics’ Comprehensive Rehabilitation Program

After ACL reconstruction, a structured rehabilitation program is essential for a successful outcome. Our experienced physical therapy team at ROC will create a personalized plan for you, focusing on:

  • Early intervention: We’ll begin gentle exercises within days of surgery to promote circulation and prevent stiffness.
  • Progressive strengthening: We’ll gradually increase the intensity of exercises to rebuild muscle strength and endurance.
  • Proprioception training: We’ll help you regain your sense of joint position and balance through specialized exercises.
  • Functional movement patterns: We’ll work on sport-specific or activity-specific drills to prepare you for a safe return to your desired activities.

Your Partner in ACL Recovery at ROC

At ROC, we believe in a team approach to your care. I will collaborate with our skilled physical therapists and athletic trainers to provide comprehensive support throughout your recovery journey. We’re committed to empowering you with knowledge and guidance to regain full function in your knee and get back to doing what you love.

Don’t Let an ACL Injury Hold You Back

If you’re struggling with a knee injury, don’t delay seeking help. The sooner we diagnose and treat an ACL tear, the better your chances of a full recovery. Take the first step towards getting back on your feet and connect with our team by clicking here.