Sam Akhavan, MD
Pittsburgh Orthopaedic Sports Medicine Doctor
Arthroscopy Surgeon for Knee & Shoulder Surgery, Pain and Injuries
Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Tears
ACL tears are one of the most common injuries in young athlete. In most cases, this is a season-ending injury but with appropriate care does not have to be a career-ending injury.
ACL tears are about 5-7 times more common in women than men. Dr Akhavan has done research in ACL injury prevention with the aid of a jump training program. This program is offered through the Allegheny General Hospital Human Motion Training Academy in Pittsburgh, PA and is intended to reduce the risk of ACL tears.
The ACL is one of the main ligaments that stabilzes the knee. It prevents the tibia from sliding forward on the femur and also provides rotational stability to the knee.
While some ACL injuries occur as a result of a contact injury, the greater majority if ACL tears occur as a result of a non-contact injury.
After an ACL tear has occured, the knee will typically swell immediately. Some patients will remember hearing a pop. Afterwards, patients may feel significant instability in the knee and a feeling of giving way.
In most young active patients who hope to return to their sports, we will recommend an ACL reconstruction. We typically have to wait for the swelling in the knee to decrease and for some motion to be restored to the knee.
There are many factors that can affect outcome in an ACL reconstruction, including the choice of graft to reconstruct the ACL, appropriate surgical placement of the graft as well as rehabilitation and return-to-play protocols. A careful discussion should be had with your surgeon to ensure the surgery for your ACL tear is appropriate for you
A schematic and an arthroscopic picture of anl ACL tear
How we examine for ACL tears
Click below to see an animation of an ACL reconstruction
Click to see an ACL reconstruction performed by Dr. Akhavan