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August 17, 2016 - TCO

An Inside Look at A New ACL Repair Technique

Maya Petersen, a high school athlete, was in the middle of a 100m hurdles race when she tore her anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). “My lead leg completely buckled on landing and I immediately knew something was wrong,” she said. Maya’s parents quickly made an appointment with Twin Cities Orthopedics where she had an MRI and was referred to Dr. Nicholas Weiss for further treatment. “Most ACL injuries are non-contact injuries,” Dr. Weiss explained, “About 70% occur when someone pivots or lands from a jump. Women, in particular, are up to eight times more likely to have an ACL tear, so we see a lot of female athletes with this injury.”

In this specific case, Dr. Weiss performed a new, sophisticated, “all inside” ACL reconstruction technique. “It’s an effective, minimally invasive procedure that recreates your ACL anatomy better than previous surgeries,” said Dr. Weiss, “There’s less tissue damage, patients tolerate it better, and it’s not as painful in the early stages. The classic method for reconstruction was okay, but it didn’t fully recreate the anatomy of the ACL and was more invasive and painful. With this technique, we’re able to recreate the anatomy very closely in a fashion much more tolerable for the patient and with excellent outcomes.”

After surgery, patients typically go through six months of physical therapy to gradually regain strength and mobility. “There’s a lot of hard work to be done afterwards. As far as getting back to activities, the standard for patients is to start jogging at about three months.  Athletes can usually return to unrestricted activities – jumping, cutting, and pivoting – at about six months. It is a long process, but it’s well worth it,” explained Weiss.

Maya had received an extensive treatment plan that helped her rehabilitate properly and helped her avoid additional injury after surgery. She was able to participate in cross country the following fall and only missed six varsity basketball games before she was cleared to participate with just a brace. “My experience with Dr. Weiss and the entire team was great. After the basketball season, I was right back into running track, including hurdles. I am no longer required to brace up for contact sports. I have no pain and no limitations related to my knee injury, “Maya said, “I would highly recommend this procedure, Dr. Weiss, and his team to anyone with an ACL injury.”

Dr. Weiss has been performing this advanced ACL reconstruction on many active individuals, including classmates and teammates of Maya’s. He and several of his partners at Twin Cities Orthopedics are a group of few specialists in the nation to treat ACL injuries with this new, “all inside” technique and they have seen excellent results. “The overall success rate for ACL reconstruction is about 90 to 95 percent. We anticipate, with this newer technique, that the overall satisfaction and success rate will improve,” finished Weiss.