ACL Survey Results

This page shows results of two different ACL surveys / polls.

1. Graft Choice Survey

Which graft do you think is best?
49% Hamstring (128 votes)
30% Patella (79 votes)
21% Allograft / Cadaver (53 votes)

ACL Surgery Graft Choice Survey
ACL Surgery Graft Preference. Total Votes: 260

In a survey on ACL surgery graft preference was conducted between January 2011 and November 2011 among 260 website visitors, nearly half of the voters (49%) chose the hamstring graft as the best graft. Patella and allograft choices made up the remaining (51%). Voters did so voluntarily and it allowed only 1 vote per visitor (tracking and blocking IP address from repeat votes).

2. ACL Surgery Survey (8 questions)

Here are final results to an ACL survey of 62 respondents who say they had ACL surgery, conducted online from Dec. 2 – Dec. 23, 2010. Survey was administered by Survey Monkey.

ACL Surgery Satisfaction
1. Overall, how satisfied are you with your ACL surgery?
81% of the respondents were either satisfied or very satisfied with their surgery. Only the minority (8%) were unsatisfied or very unsatisfied.

ACL Surgery Graft Choice
2. What graft did you choose for your ACL surgery?
The majority (56%) of survey respondents chose hamstring over the alternatives. Patellar was chosen by 32% of respondents. The ‘other’ choice was chosen for a few who had both done either in the same knee or both knees. No one claimed use of a synthetic graft.

ACL Surgery Best Graft Choice
3. Overall, which graft do you think is best for ACL surgery?
With percentages similar to the previous question, and considering 81% were satisfied with their surgery, it’s likely most respondents think the graft they chose to have ACL surgery with was the best choice.

ACL Surgery Best Graft
4. Have you had any screws removed after your ACL surgery?
92% has either kept their screws in, or never had them. 8.1% (5 responses) claimed to have had them removed, but only 1 claimed to be satisfied with it, and 1 was neutral (this question is not shown- was only visible to YES respondents).

5. Average cost of ACL surgery (out of pocket costs): $2,339.43
Range $0 to $17,500

ACL Surgery Knee Pain
6. How much knee pain do you now have?
Only 1 (2%) of 52 respondents reported extreme pain. 19.6% moderate pain, 19.6% little pain, 15.7% very little pain, 35.5% no pain at all, and 17.6% recently had surgery.

ACL Surgery How Injured
7. What were you doing when you originally tore your ACL?
23.5% soccer (futball) was the most common answer, followed by skiing (13.7%), basketball and football (each at 11.8%). Typed answers occurring two or more times included: wrestling, ultimate frisbee, flighting (martial arts), and riding motorcycles.

8. What advice can you give someone thinking about ACL surgery?
Responses to the last question are listed here: View ACL surgery tips

17 thoughts on “ACL Survey Results”

  1. I had ACL reconstruction 6weeks ago frm today, September 8th, using hamstring graft. Tore it playing a soccer match in October 2009 as i could clearly hear da “pop” and excrutiating pain immediately after…but being as stubborn as i am and not wantin to believe da worst i took, what was a clear misdiagnosis, the doctors advise dat it was a sprained knee(never heard that before) and i shouldnt play footy with my club for about a month. Didnt play again till January, a 5a-side indoor kick about with friends, but 10mins into it nobodoy near me i turned and da knee jus snapped again with da same pain if not worse as before…disaster!! 🙁
    After my surgery my surgeon came into me and told me there was alot of damage and they “struggled with it and took longer than usual but got there eventually and i now had a Rolls Royce of a knee” (i dont know if thats a good thing or not ha!).
    Left hospital after 2nights and started gettin da worst pain ever in my calf musle…after a week da pain was gettin worse only when i stood up tho. I eventually went to hospital and was given treatment for a possible clot in my leg but after an Ultrasound scan a few days later i was told there was no sign of a clot and within a week the pain had reduced significantly thank god cause that pain was worse than any of the knee pain i had after surgery.
    Anyway got off crutches after 4weeks, i think i would have been off them alot quicker if it hadnt been for the calf muscle pain, and am doing physio with my physiotherapist twice a week. Hopin to go back to work in couple weeks my boss was on my back a bit with gettin me back sooner but i was afraid my knee wouldnt be up to it as i work in a Niteclub and bar.
    I pray to God i get back playin with my club in a few months as not bein able to play again would be an absolute disaster to me 🙁
    My biggest fear would be if my hamstring graft gave way when playin again as i hear it can stretch with wear or if i did the right knee that would be a nightmare dont fancy goin thru it again!!
    I wish all those who have done it the best in their recovery and hope nobody has to go thru it again…once is bad, twice must be extremely disheartening.

    1. i agree fully i had the patellar sugery after tearing my acl at a basketball game i heard a pop and tried to stand up but it popped out again and was extremely painful i then went to the er the next day and all they did was give me a knee imobilizer and i then had two wait another two weeks for a diagnosis and ive already had the surgery and still to this day six months after still cant stand on my knee or feel the whole right side of it

      1. That’s probably one of the worst outcomes/recoveries I’ve heard. Has your doctor given you any reasons to explain your problems?

  2. Nice article, 2 days ago i had acl reconstructive surgery (hamstring). As a matter of fact i’m using my CPM machine right now, got it at 60 lol. Anyways, its too soon to judge the effects of the surgery, but it seemed to have went smoothly. and even though my knee is in alot of pain at times(mostly in the mornings) its bearable and i’m relatively happy i went thru with it.

  3. I was surprised that so few people have their screws removed. It shows that most people these days prefer the hamstring graft too.

  4. I had my ACL suregery…abt 6 weeks ago……n i m absolutly fine….going through my physio….and all s going well……….hope… will b bak on track……hw tym wil it take….for cmplt recovery??????

  5. I’m always surprised at how much more popular the hamstring graft is. When I had surgery I really didn’t know much about either technique. My dad and doctor strongly agreed that I should have the patella tendon graft so that’s what I got. My doctor was kind of old school though which probably explains his preference. Anyways, my surgery was about 5 years ago and the knee is fine. Works just as well if not better as my other one. Every case is obviously different, but I wouldn’t rule out one technique just because you read a couple bad experiences online. Talk to your doctor and see which one they prefer or have had the most success with. Chances are they are more experienced with one technique which means a better outcome no matter what kind of graft you use.

  6. I tore my ACL back in March of 2011, thought it was a sprain, but after a year, just didn’t feel right. Saw my doctor, got an MRI, and got the diagnosis. Had my surgery in Oct. 2012, I am almost 6 months out of surgery, had the hamstring procedure, and can’t say that its been bad, been running on the treadmill the past month and half, still feel some pain in the knee, but seem to improve from month to month. I hope to get back to playing basketball in a couple months. My only concern, is that it still gets stiff when in certain positions for long periods of time and can hear a pop or two when leaning on the knee at certain angles. I need to ask my therapist or surgeon about that. Hope everyone luck in their experience, mine is still healing, but hopefully soon….

    1. Tom,

      Any issues with the missing hamstring tendons? Can you do a full hamstring contraction without thinking about it? Any hamstring tightness when jogging?


      Bfee2002 at yahoo dot com

      1. Hey Fidel,
        I’m 7 1/2 months out of surgery, I don’t really know what it should feel like, but I don’t really have pain that I consider bad. I’ve been running on the treadmill for the past 3 months and been running with friends for the past 6 weeks. My hamstring feels fine, it did feel a bit sore for the first month or so, but it went away. My PT guy says that it all looks great, and same with the surgeon, he says it looks great. I am considering playing some light basketball soon, but still a little cautious. I did get my ACL brace a month or so ago, I’ve been wearing it when I go to shoot hoops and practice layups while the guys are playing basketball. Overall, I’d have to say that I’m pleased with the results, but I think at a year is when I will really know. The only real thing I notice, is when I kneel down, I can bend down to where my left heel can just about touch my butt, while the right heel(that’s the leg that had the surgery) feels resistance just before I can get that point. I also hear some crackling in the right knee. I’ll keep you posted, if your interested. Good luck if that is what you have to look forward to.

        1. Thanks Tom for the reply. I’m at 7 months now and can now run. But, I still feel resistance in my hammy. It is really weak and can barely make a full contraction. What exercises helped u the most?

  7. I have had a total of 7 acl tears with 5 acl recons and presently acl deficient in both knees. (do the math, it works out) My last acl tear was in 2006. I am 42 years old and my arthritis is so bad the doctors will not restring my acls NOR give me new knees until i lose 60 lbs. From 2008 to 2010 my pain doctors in KC gave me fentanyl patches for my er and oxycodone for my ir. I was able to ride the recumbent bike, walk short distances, strengthen my quads and hams, and weigh a comfortable 200 lbs.

    My nightmare began when I moved to Atlanta.

  8. I had ACL surgery in June 2013 and apparently the surgery all went well. Was home for a week then had to go back to the surgeon for a post op appointment. While at home I had started to get a pain in the calf region when I sat up or used my crutches. When they removed my bandages I had a really bad ‘bruise’ at the back of my calf. The surgeon told me it was possible a post op bleed, nothing to worry about but if it cause me pain, go to my local doctor.
    Two days later I went to local doctor as the pain behind the calf was worse and the ‘bruise’ was twice the size. He admitted me to hospital and put me on a antibiotic drip as he thought it was an infection from surgery. He tried to contact my surgeon who didn’t return his calls to discuss. He sent me over for an ultrasound on the leg to rule out a blood clot, which was the most excrutiating pain I have ever experiences. This didn’t show a clot but perhaps a possible ruptured bakers cyst.
    I ended up ringing the surgeon myself after being in hospital for 5 days with no change to my condition. He requested I return to the hospital so he could have a look at my leg. I returned that afternoon and he operated on me the following day to remove a blood sac that was apparently pressing on nerves and blood vessels causing the pain. I was able to finally recover from my 2 surgerys and start the recovery.
    It is now the end of October and I am back with my PT doing lots of leg work (squats, step ups, rowing etc) but I still get a small amount of pain when jogging and I am only able to get about 110 degrees of flexibility. I am a little unsure where to go from here. I want to be able to get back to what I used to do, but with this very limited flexibility and very stiff knee after sitting or laying down for a long period of time, I am concerned that that is never going to happen.

  9. I am almost 6 weeks out from ACL surgery. Injury in June, surgery in november. Doing all the PT, my PT says my knee should be straight by now, it gets straight, but tightens up again. Any advice?

  10. Hi i am tear my acl 3 years ago now surgery is going to happen on 9th june,i have develop early osteophytes as well.plz help me how can i manage it.pls help

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