Monday, February 6, 2012

Advances in ACL Surgery: Anatomic Reconstruction

This summer, John Vitolo, M.D. attended a conference on a new ACL reconstruction technique at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, home to one of the largest and most respected orthopedic clinical and research departments in the United States.  Dr. Vitolo is now one of a few specialized orthopedic surgeons trained in this new surgical technique, called the “Anatomic ACL Reconstruction Method”.  

Since adopting this new procedure, Dr. Vitolo has noticed that his patients experience less post-operative pain, improved range of motion and better overall results.  Dr. Vitolo stated, “Anatomic method takes each patient’s individual anatomy into consideration and attempts to restore that natural anatomy.  By using a medial portal approach, you are able to put the new graft where the original ligament existed.  The results have been phenomenal.  Post-operative pain has decreased and my patients are recovering more quickly and returning to activities faster.”

The anatomy of every patient is different.  The “Anatomic Technique for ACL Reconstruction” looks at each patient individually and anchors the ACL to its original anatomical position by using the medial portal approach; therefore keeping the natural anatomy of the knee.  By doing this, the patient is less likely to suffer a repeat tear and is able to return to activities in less time.  It is also believed that using this new method can decrease  the risk of developing arthritis later in life. 

When the ACL is injured it cannot be repaired by fixing the original ligament.  A “new” ACL must be constructed by grafting tissue from the patient’s body (autograph) or by using tissue from a cadaver (allograft).  It has been shown that anatomic graft placement is critical to the success and clinical outcome of ACL reconstruction.

The main benefit to the new procedure is that it helps prevent a re-tear of the ACL because the graft is placed lower and mimics the body’s natural anatomy.  Non-anatomic bone tunnel placement is the most common cause of a failed ACL reconstruction.  

For more information or to schedule an appointment, please visit our website: or call 973.300.1553.