ACL shrinkage is an exciting new development in ACL reconstruction. When less
than 50% of the ACL is torn, it is called a partial tear. Often, the two ends
of the ACL are still attached in a partial tear.
In these special circumstances, the ACL can be treated with a laser or radiofrequency
probe that cause its fibers to shrink. This "shrinkage" is a result
of the collagen in the fibers becoming tighter and stronger.
When stretching or partial tearing of the ACL is suspected, we often recommend
this tightening procedure. Many patients prefer this option for treatment for
a multitude of reasons. Recovery from shrinkage is much shorter and requires
bracing for less time, compared to other ACL repair alternatives. Furthermore,
the original ACL is in place, instead of a foreign object or graft. Return to
activity is much quicker as well.