ACL Specialist

Christopher Farrell, M.D. -  - Orthopedic Surgery

Maryland Orthopedic Institute

Christopher Farrell, M.D.

Orthopedic Surgery located in Bethesda, MD

Fewer things can stop you in your tracks faster than an ACL injury, which is why many men and women in Bethesda, Maryland turn to Christopher Farrell, MD when they encounter knee pain. ACL repair is an area of specialty at Maryland Orthopedic Institute, and Dr. Farrell has helped hundreds regain painless knee function after an ACL injury. To begin your path to recovery, schedule an appointment online or call the office today.

ACL Q & A

What is an ACL injury?

Your anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is one of four main ligaments in your knee joint and also the most commonly injured. It plays a crucial role in connecting your femur to your tibia and runs diagonally through the joint.

These symptoms suggest you may have injured your ACL:

  • Loud “popping” sensation or sound
  • Swelling
  • Severe pain
  • Inability to put weight on the joint
  • Limited range of motion
  • A sensation of joint weakness

It’s important to seek care right away. If you keep putting weight on the joint, you may cause additional damage, or injure other tissues within your knee.

What causes an ACL injury?

ACL injuries are common among athletes and fitness enthusiasts because they usually arise from a sudden motion. These are just some of the ways you can sustain an ACL injury:

  • Making swift changes in direction
  • Landing from a jump
  • Sudden stops
  • Sustaining a blow to the knee
  • Pivoting while your foot is planted

It’s possible to prevent many ACL injuries by working to strengthen the muscles in your legs, pelvis, hips, and lower abdomen. Learning proper techniques for jumping, cutting, and pivoting is also essential to joint health.

Using proper gear is another critical component of preventing ACL injuries. Be sure that your footwear and padding are appropriate to your sport or activity, and never play or train without wearing your gear.

How are ACL injuries repaired?

At Maryland Orthopedic Institute, Dr. Farrell has extensive experience repairing ACL injuries. Once a thorough diagnosis is reached, he discusses the available options with you and creates a customized treatment plan. 

Rehabilitative therapy is an effective treatment path for some. Physical therapy can help reduce swelling, improve range of motion, and strengthen muscles.

In some cases, surgery is necessary to repair ACL damage. This arthroscopic procedure involves replacing the damaged tissue with a graft. The graft may come from a different area of your knee or could come from a donor.

The graft provides structural reinforcement of your knee as your body grows new ligament tissue to strengthen the joint further. A program of physical therapy follows, and full recovery usually occurs between 8-12 months. You’ll likely be able to resume normal activities far sooner.

To learn more about Dr. Farrell’s approach to ACL repair, schedule a consultation at your earliest convenience.