ACL Surgery  vs  Total Knee Replacement Surgery

Each year, millions of Americans suffer from knee pain.  While knee issues often resolve with a little TLC, sometimes, surgery is required. For those in need of serious knee repair, the two common surgeries are total knee replacement and ACL reconstruction. Here’s how these two treatments compare.

The Issue With Knee Pain

Total knee replacement surgery replaces a damaged knee joint with artificial joint components. These components are made from state-of-the-art materials using advanced technology and materials for durability and strength. The artificial joint components work together, just like your natural joint parts.

Total Knee Replacement

What happens in total knee replacement surgery?


Incision Is Made

During the surgery, a doctor makes a large incision to access the entire joint.


Bone Removal

Next, they remove the damaged portions of the bones and attach the artificial components using special techniques.



After the surgery, you’ll go to a recovery area for a few hours before moving to a hospital room for a couple of days.

ACL surgery replaces the anterior cruciate ligament, one of four major ligaments that help your knee bend and move. ACL injuries usually occur when you pivot your knee quickly, like a rapid change of direction during a sport. Less commonly, they’re torn by trauma, like a severe fall.

ACL Surgery

What happens in ACL surgery?


Ligament Removal

During the procedure,  the torn ligament is removed and replaced with a tendon graft.


Anchor the Tendon Graft

A doctor then makes small holes in your thigh bone and shin bone, anchoring the tendon graft with screws.



ACL surgery is almost always performed on an outpatient basis, which means you’ll go home the same day.

The Right Treatment for Your Knee Pain

Total knee replacement surgery and ACL surgery are just two options for treating acute and chronic knee pain.  To learn what’s causing your knee pain and how to relieve it, contact OrthoIllinois and request an appointment with Dr. Van Thiel today.