Orthopedic Institute of Santa Barbara -  - Orthopedic Surgeon

Orthopedic Institute of Santa Barbara

Orthopedic Surgeons & Sports Medicine located in Santa Barbara, CA & Solvang, CA

ACL injuries are common among athletes and highly active patients. ACL injuries are complex and require immediate care. At the Orthopedic Institute of Santa Barbara in Santa Barbara, California, William R. Gallivan, MD, and his team help patients restore the function of their knee and get back to their normal routine. To speak with Dr. Gallivan about your condition, book an appointment by phone or online today.


What is the ACL?

The ACL, or the anterior cruciate ligament, is one of the major ligaments in the knee. The ACL connects the thigh bone to the shinbone and helps stabilize the knee joint. When the ligament is injured, the knee cannot properly support your weight. 

What is an ACL injury?

An ACL injury is a partial or complete tear of the anterior cruciate ligament. ACL injuries most often occur during sports and fitness activities like basketball, soccer, gymnastics, and football. Most ACL injuries are caused by:

  • Sudden stopping or slowing down
  • Sudden change in direction
  • Awkwardly landing a jump
  • Collision to the knee

ACL injuries vary depending on the severity of the torn ligament. Symptoms of an ACL injury include:

  • Inability to continue activity
  • Difficulty putting weight on knee
  • Sudden, rapid swelling
  • A loud popping sound or sensation
  • Severe pain
  • Loss of mobility

If you experience a torn ACL, you require prompt care to determine the status of your injury. At the Orthopedic Institute of Santa Barbara, the team provides individualized treatment plans designed to maximize your comfort and address the specific needs of your condition.

How is a torn ACL treated?

ACL injuries cause a sudden loss of strength and stability in the knee. The knee is a complex structure that requires specialist care. Depending on the severity of your injury, treatment may include:

Physical therapy

If you engage in moderate physical activity, rehabilitative therapy is used to effectively reduce pain and swelling and restore strength and a full range of motion to your knee. 

Your doctor provides you with a brace to stabilize the knee and crutches to avoid putting weight on the injury. Physical therapy helps you slowly strengthen the knee and regain proper function. Your doctor supervises your rehabilitative therapy to ensure a timely and successful recovery. 

ACL reconstruction surgery

Surgery is most appropriate for highly active patients and those with severe ACL injuries. To perform ACL reconstruction surgery, your doctor removes the damaged ligament and replaces it with a tissue graft sourced from another part of your knee or a donor. The tissue graft relieves the symptoms of the injury and restores normal function. 

Rehabilitative therapy is also required after surgery to rebuild strength and stability and ensure proper recovery.

The Orthopedic Institute of Santa Barbara uses the latest cutting-edge technology to provide timely and effective treatment for patients with ACL injuries. To speak with an orthopedic specialist about your condition, book an appointment by phone or online today.