February 9, 2015

New ACL technique helps athlete get back in the game

Knee | Patient Stories

THIS IS PART OF THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO SPORTS MEDICINE

Colleen Gudeman is just like any other teenage girl. She hangs out with her friends, loves Harry Potter and is part of her school’s student government. Out of five Gudeman children, Colleen is the only girl, so it’s no surprise that Colleen plays sports like the rest of her siblings.

Colleen, 17, plays golf and lacrosse for Center Grove High School. In the summer of 2012, Colleen was playing in a lacrosse scrimmage when she felt a pop in her knee.

Physician examination-torn ACL

“At first I didn’t think anything was wrong. I had no pain but it was hard to straighten my leg all the way or bend it completely because it was so stiff,” Colleen said. “After discovering that I had torn my ACL, I was primarily concerned with recovering in time for the next lacrosse season.”

Colleen was immediately restricted from her active lifestyle.

“That summer was pretty boring due to my inability to participate in certain activities like swimming and golf,” said Colleen. “Fortunately, all of my friends and family were supportive and adapted to my injury by doing things that I could still enjoy in order to avoid making me feel left out.

Luckily, she knew where to go. Her dad is Dr. Scott Gudeman, an orthopaedic surgeon at OrthoIndy who specializes in knee injuries and sports medicine. However, it was Dr. Jack Farr, a fellow OrthoIndy surgeon who specializes in cartilage restoration, sports medicine and knee injuries that actually performed Colleen’s surgery.

“I see a lot of sports-related injuries and seeing my daughter go through surgery was definitely a different perspective than I’m used to,” Dr. Gudeman said.

Dr. Gudeman was confident in Dr. Farr’s abilities and trusted him with his child’s care.

“I’ve worked with Dr. Farr for nearly 20 years,” said Dr. Gudeman. “Therefore, I am very familiar with his high-level surgical skills and clinical expertise. I had no hesitation asking him to do my child’s ACL reconstruction. It is a surgeon’s own preference when deciding to operate on their own child. I just felt it was more appropriate in this particular situation that one of my colleagues do the surgery.”

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GraftLink™ All-Inside ACL Reconstruction

Instead of a traditional ACL surgery, Dr. Farr opted for an alternative approach with the GraftLink™ All-Inside ACL Reconstruction. In the distant past, ACL patients had a long incision, were casted for six weeks and on crutches for even longer. Thankfully, ACL surgery has gradually evolved. The surgery has become more anatomic based, less invasive, incisions are smaller and rehabilitation is earlier and more functional for patients.

“I used the new GraftLink™ All-Inside ACL Reconstruction technique for Colleen,” said Dr. Farr. “Her surgery was done completely through the scope. A recent study showed that the results are the same as more invasive ACL reconstructions, but there is less pain. A relatively unimportant side advantage is cosmesis—when the hamstring is used, there is no traditional scar, only small slit incisions that heal to the point that friends often don’t believe the patient even had an ACL reconstruction.”

The All-Inside technique modified the typical ACL reconstruction technique in two ways: The femoral bone tunnel is placed in a more anatomic location and it also encloses the bone tunnels, making it less invasive, minimizing soft tissue dissection. Bone and periosteum are also preserved, which helps reduce soft tissue swelling, making recovery easier for the patient.

After ACL surgery

Colleen slowly got back into playing lacrosse during the winter league with baby steps instructed by Dr. Farr. Six months later, Colleen was back on the field doing what she loved most.

“It’s almost as if nothing ever happened. I have a newfound respect for injured athletes because I know how much determination and drive it takes to recover.”

Since her surgery, Colleen has continued to improve in lacrosse. She was presented with the mental attitude award at her team’s award ceremony because she never let her injury get in the way of her enthusiasm for the sport. Colleen is looking forward to her senior year as team captain because there are no limits to what she and her team can do.

To make an appointment with Dr. Farr please call 317.884.5163. or learn more about knee treatment option at OrthoIndy.

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Your well-being is important to us. Click the button below or call us to schedule an appointment with one of our orthopedic specialists. If your injury or condition is recent, you can walk right into one of our OrthoIndy Urgent Care locations for immediate care. For rehabilitation and physical therapy, no referral is needed to see one of our physical therapists.

Schedule an Appointment Call OrthoIndy 317.802.2000

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