How common is an ACL re-tear?
This is not a simple question to answer. ACL re-injury is a complex scenario and has many variables to consider. The key to preventing ACL re-injury is to partner with a surgeon who understands the entire continuum that is involved in successful ACL recovery.
Here are just a few of the factors that influence a patient’s risk of reinjury:
- Timing of Surgery
- Graft Choice and placement
- Management of Cartilage and Meniscal Injury
- Recognition of significant collateral (MCL, FCL) injury and appropriate intervention
- Guided, evidence-based rehabilitation program
- Validated and evidence-based return to play program and test
- Brace (certain sports)
- Psychological Readiness for return to sport
If you’ve torn your ACL, statistics will tell you the likelihood of re-tearing the anterior cruciate ligament is six times greater within the first 24 months after surgery, than in someone who has never torn their ACL. Although only 3-10% of grafts fail, this is still a large number of cases. There can be many reasons for an ACL reconstruction failure.
What is surprising, is the most common occurrence of a re-tear is not related to a new trauma. Instead, post-surgical problems with the original ACL graft are the most common reason for a retear, or failure of a first surgery. For that reason, it is important to see Dr. Vidal, who performs hundreds of successful ACL reconstructions a year. Unlike many surgeons who only complete 10 ACL surgeries a year, Dr. Vidal and his colleagues at the Steadman Clinic lead the industry in ACL reconstruction. He knows the importance of proper surgical technique, graft placement and post-surgical rehabilitation.
The second most common cause of ACL reconstruction failure is due to secondary instabilities that should have been addressed during the original surgery. Those include, but may not be limited to a PCL injury, medial knee injury or posterolateral corner injury. Dr. Vidal is known for taking his time and doing a proper ACL repair or reconstruction and repairing any secondary issues if necessary.