New Help for Old Knee Injuries
Reported June 2006
ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Broadcast News) -- One of the most common knee surgeries is the reconstruction of a torn ACL in the knee. A new way to repair a common sports injury could keep athletes back in the game longer.
When Barrett Woods heard the sound most athletes dread, he thought his basketball days were over. "It was a loud pop," he says, "and immediately I fell to the ground."
That pop was the sound of his torn anterior cruciate ligament, the ligament that helps the knee bend. Woods needed surgery, and then he learned of a brand new procedure to repair his ACL, called a double bundle.
"Double bundle surgery restores rotation ... better than a single bundle," orthopedic surgeon Freddie Fu, M.D., of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, tells Ivanhoe.
And restoring that rotation means Woods can still shoot hoops.
The knee has two bundles of fibers connecting the thighbone to the shinbone. Traditional ACL repair only mends one of those bundles. During the new procedure at the University of Pittsburgh, Dr. Fu uses a patient's or donor tissue to replace both bundles, restoring knee rotation and better motion for many years to come.
"Maybe in five, 10 years, you won't wear out your knee," Dr. Fu says. The rehabilitation period for the double bundle technique is the same as for single bundle repair, about six months to nine months for a full recovery.
Woods bounced back from his surgery in no time, feeling as good as new. "I'm doing phenomenal, you know," he says. "It's really like I never had the injury." ... A phenomenal recovery that's twice as nice.
Click here to Go Inside This Science or contact:
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery
Johns Hopkins Outpatient Center
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