T Nation

ACL Surgery

Found out today that I have torn my ACL (left knee). This happended playing basketball, I planted to jump and my knee gave out. I’m 27 and plan on having reconstructive surgery. Does anyone have any advice on how to evaluate orthopedic surgeons? How do I know that the guy I’m going to is the best for the job? My OS seams to check out, I was referred to him by my primary care physician, he is associated with a large university hospital, has been practicing for 20+ yrs. Maybe I’m answering my own question, but I just want to be sure.

i just had mine done in december. I went to the surgeon who does knees for the Pittsburgh steelers, so i figured he had to be good!!

Orthopods often specialize and many do mainly one joint. While there are no doubt many qualified orthopods who are generalists, the safest thing is to seek someone who is a “knee doc”. At a minimum you want someone who has done lots of whatever procedure you are having done.

I have had two ACL reconstructions and have used two different docs. I would find a doctor that specializes in knee surgeries and also look for one that generally operates on athletes who plan on returning to sports. Different docs have different philosophies on what is the best graft to use for the surgery. For instance, an ortho. that operates on athletes will generally use the patellar(sp?) tendon to reconstruct the ACL because it is the strongest. By getting a sports ortho. you know you will get someone that has experience and will prescribe a more aggressive rehab program.

To find the best sports doc, I would say you just need to ask around. Once people find out you have torn your ACL, they will most likely know someone who has also had the surgery. For instance, I went to a doc that was referred to me by a friend. In my first appointment, we discussed my situation and goals for recovery. He immediately referred me to another ortho that had a ton of experience with athletes. I would definitely meet with a few docs and talk to them before deciding though. Good luck with your search.