The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is one of the most dreaded injuries. ACL surgery and recovery are often difficult.
The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) functions to stabilize the knee and prevents the forward translation or movement of the knee joint when stopping or turning. By contrast the posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) does the reverse. This occurs by the cross formed by the two ligaments and their different attachments in the center of the knee joint.
The ACL is often injured with other knee tissues. The terrible triad is a tear of the ACL, medial meniscus, and MCL (medial collateral ligament).
This is common in sports such as basketball, football, skiing and soccer.
ACL tears do not have to be complete. Partial tears occur and these do not have to always be surgically corrected.
Partial tears may be amenable to therapy and Stem Cell Therapy.
Stem cell treatments in this case is to aid in the healing process, and to possible repair the partial tear. Complete ACL tears that have left the two ends of the ACL separated like a cut rope, cannot be fixed with stem cells unless the ends were together.
Special ACL braces can help prevent translational forces across the knee joint during recovery from stem cell treatment or as part of rehabilitation.
The use of Stem Cell Therapy in ACL partial tears associated with meniscal tears or other damaged tissues such as the MCL, may be a viable treatment option as well.
Stem cells actually home to sites of injury. This allows more than one site to be treated when the stem cells are placed inside the knee joint. This is advantage to patients recovering from the injury, especially athletes. Treatment should be individually tailored for each patient.