Brendan Tow is a college football player that I’ve known since he was a kid. He was excited to get a college football scholarship several years ago, but that elation was soon cut short by his first and then second ACL injuries. We’ve been able to help Brendan through two bouts of ACL tear treatment without the need for career ending surgery.

The ACL is a major stabilizing ligament of the knee. ACL tear treatment is mostly surgical these days, with only a handful of athletes choosing not to undergo surgery. This is despite ongoing research that ACL surgery doesn’t work all that well when compared to patients who forego the surgery. There are a slew of issues, including poor bio mechanics of the surgical ACL graft leading to early onset arthritis and a lack of normal position sense in the surgically treated knee. What if you could heal the ACL in place rather than rip it out? Most college level athletes who have the surgery struggle to get back on the field by the next season; could an athlete still compete despite injuring both ACLs at different times?

When Brendan tore his ACL he knew where to turn for options other than surgery. I’ve blogged on his before and after MRIs before. As an example, his November 2013 MRI barely has a fully visible ACL with a tortuous and stretched ligament. His March 2014 MRI, just 3 months after a very precise injection of his own stem cells, shows a very tight band of ACL fibers. This was Brendan’s second ACL tear, we had treated the opposite knee ACL with stem cells two years earlier.

After his first ACL stem cell treatment, here’s a picture of his first college touchdown and a note from his mother:

acl surgery alternative

The upshot? IMHO ACL tear treatment has entered a new era. It’s time to put down the scalpels and arthroscopes in the treatment of many ACL injury patients in favor of precise injections the patient’s own stem cells!

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