ACL Preservation Surgery

Known as reconstruction, ACL preservation surgery involves removing your damaged ligament and replacing it with a new one. An ACL repair involves repairing your original ACL and letting that heal.

Traditional methods of ACL repair had poor outcomes. Since then, newer techniques have been developed, and these modern techniques have great success with certain types of ACL tears. Around 30% of ACL tears are now amenable to surgical repair. With ACL repair, one can preserve their original ACL and its superior function over a new ACL graft.

Dr Bernard Lee utilises an ACL repair technique that allows the patient to avoid a full ACL reconstruction, which is a bigger and more invasive operation. This means less bone and tendon loss, less pain, quicker rehabilitation and potentially better function.

In some cases, only part of the ACL may be irreparable. In these patients, Dr Bernard Lee will repair part of the ACL and augment the irreparable component with a tendon graft, rather than remove the entire ACL and replace it with a new one. These options are known as ‘remnant preserving ACL reconstruction’, and ‘selective bundle ACL reconstruction’, with or without repair or retensioning of the remnant ACL.

The aim of preserving as much of one’s original ACL as possible is to restore the body’s original anatomy and to improve the knee function with minimal physical cost.


“I believe that every patient should be given a chance to preserve their original ACL if possible as this may mean a great outcome over a good one. The original is always better than a replacement.”