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ACL Repairs Specialist

Jimmy M Tamai, MD -  - Board Certified Orthopedic Surgeon

Orthopaedic Surgical Associates, LLC

Jimmy M Tamai, MD

Board Certified Orthopedic Surgeon located in Fairbanks, AK

Every year, about 175,000 Americans undergo ACL repair surgery. While the thought of an ACL repair might seem scary, modern surgical techniques and anesthesia ensure the procedure is quick and relatively pain-free. At Orthopaedic Surgical Associates, LLC in Fairbanks, Alaska, board-certified orthopedic surgeon Jimmy Tamai, MD, proudly offers ACL repairs to men, women, and families. If you or a loved one suffers a sports-related injury, call the office or click the online scheduling tool today.

ACL Repairs Q & A

What is an ACL repair?

ACL repair, also known as ACL reconstruction, is a type of orthopedic surgery used to replace a torn or damaged anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). The ACL is one of the largest ligaments in your knee. 

Anyone can experience an ACL injury, but they’re common in athletes, especially athletes who play sports that involve stops, pivots, and sudden changes in direction. Dr. Tamai performs ACL repairs as an outpatient procedure. This means you return home on the same day of your operation. 

Why would I need ACL repair surgery?

Your ACL connects your shinbone to your thigh bone and helps stabilize your knee. The ACL is tough and durable, but it’s also susceptible to injury. Most ACL injuries occur during sports or other physical activities. You might benefit from ACP repair if:

  • You land awkwardly after jumping
  • You receive a direct blow to the knee
  • You suddenly slow down and change direction
  • You pivot on a firmly planted foot

You might also benefit from ACL repair surgery if your ACL injury causes your knee to buckle or give way during normal activity, such as walking the dog. 

Are ACL repairs safe?

ACL repairs are safe and well-tolerated. However, as with any surgery, there are inherent risks, including bleeding and infection. Following your operation, you might also experience knee swelling, knee stiffness, or slow healing. 

What happens during ACL repair surgery?

Before your ACL repair, Dr. Tamai puts you under general anesthesia, meaning you’re asleep during the operation. Once the anesthesia sets in, Dr. Tamai makes a series of small incisions. He sticks an arthroscope––a thin tube with a camera on the end––through one incision and small, specialty surgical tools through the others.

Next, Dr. Tamai carefully removes the torn or damaged ligament and replaces it with a segment of healthy tendon called a graft. The graft either comes from your healthy knee or from a donor. Dr. Tamai drills a series of small holes in your thigh bone and shinbone and secures the graft with screws and pins. New, healthy ligament tissue grows around the graft, restoring your knee to its healthy near-original condition. 

What is recovery like following an ACL repair?

Following your ACL repair surgery,  Dr. Tamai sends you home with a list of recovery instructions. Take your medications as prescribed, use your crutches, and make sure to attend all of your physical therapy appointments. Slowly but surely, you’ll start feeling better, but complete recovery usually takes nine months.

To learn more about ACL repairs, book an appointment with Dr. Tamai at Orthopaedic Surgical Associates, LLC, by calling the office or clicking the online scheduling tool today.