Injury to the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is one of the most devastating and frequent injuries of the knee. Surgical reconstruction is the current standard of care for treatment of ACL injuries in active patients. The widespread adoption of ACL reconstruction over primary repair was based on early perception of the limited healing capacity of the ACL. Although the majority of ACL reconstruction surgeries successfully restore gross joint stability, post-traumatic osteoarthritis is commonplace following these injuries, even with ACL reconstruction. The development of new techniques to limit the long-term clinical sequelae associated with ACL reconstruction has been the main focus of research over the past decades. The improved knowledge of healing, along with recent advances in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine, has resulted in the discovery of novel biologically augmented ACL-repair techniques that have satisfactory outcomes in preclinical studies. This instructional review provides a summary of the latest advances made in ACL repair. Cite this article: Bone Joint Res 2014;3:20-31.
Keywords: Anterior cruciate ligament; Injury; Repair.