The anterior cruciate ligament or ACL is one of the few ligaments that will not heal itself because it is surrounded by knee joint fluid. Therefore, the ACL needs to be reconstructed in symptomatic patients.

The two most popular reconstructive methods use the patient’s hamstring for a graft, or uses a cadaver graft. These graphs are placed using an arthroscope with small incisions.

Many doctors will place a brace and/or use crutches for a time after the surgery. That time can be a short as a few days or last a month or more. The procedure is painful. Immediate physical therapy is very important. A successful outcome cannot happen without a dedicated patient doing good physical therapy.

Walker Wynkoop MD lives in Los Banos and is a Board-Certified Orthopedic Surgeon with 30 years experience. He works at Surgical Affiliates of California. Please email questions to: