Sports surgeon: New ACL repair technique is a 'very big breakthrough'

Every year about 200,000 people will suffer an ACL injury.

COLUMBIA (WACH) -- Every year about 200,000 people will suffer an ACL injury.

Half of them will need reconstructive surgery, but studies show many of those procedures will fail. Now, a new technique is helping keep repaired knees from needing more work.

An anterior cruciate ligament tear can end a career, or at least a season in, a split second.

Danny Hansen knows the feeling all too well. He just had his latest ACL surgery. Its the third time he has torn up his knee playing basketball.

"In 2004, I had an ACL reconstruction and the same thing in 2007," said Hansen.

Now a dad, he wants to share his love of the sport with his son Blake.

Dr. Tony Nguyen says Danny's prior surgeries failed because older techniques forced doctors to place new tissue in the wrong position, which can limit the knees ability to rotate.

Tony Nguyen, MD, Orthopedic Surgeon in Sports Medicine and Trauma at The CORE Institute, says that it was almost a centimeter and half away from where it should have been.

To repair the ACL, Dr. Nguyen used a piece of tendon from Danny's knee and a new technique known as anteromedial drilling.

"As a sports surgeon, its a very big breakthrough," said Dr. Nguyen.

The approach allows surgeons to perfectly place the new tissue. That helps restore the natural anatomy of the knee, giving patients more rotational control. Up to 25 percent of traditional reconstructions fail.