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Was Derrick Rose's ACL Repair Method the Best?

Derrick Rose underwent surgery to repair his torn ACL on Saturday, but was the method used the best one?

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Cameras capture the exact moment when Derrick Rose tore the ACL in his left knee late in Game 1 of the Bulls NBA Playoff series with the Philadelphia 76ers.

    Derrick Rose underwent surgery Saturday at Rush University Medical Center to repair his torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee. The procedure was performed by Chicago Bulls team physician Dr. Brian Cole.

    Cole is the section head of the Cartilage Research Program and the Cartilage Restoration Center at Rush. He also is the head of the Orthopedic Master's Program. In January, Cole was named Chairman of Surgery at Rush Oak Park Hospital and has published more than 1,000 articles and five orthopedic textbooks. In 2009, Dr. Cole was named NBA Team Physician of the Year by the National Basketball Athletic Trainers Association among other accolades.

    Needless to say, Dr. Cole is a very accomplished physician and surgeon, and Derrick Rose has been in good hands.

    Dr. Cole used a graft from Rose's patellar tendon to repair the injury, and the sports medicine community now seems split on whether that sort of graft is the best method to repair torn ACLs in athletes.

    Patellar grafts have been used to repair torn anterior cruciate ligaments for years, but now, some medical professionals have adopted a method using grafts from the hamstring and consider the patellar method antiquated.

    When Tiger Woods tore his ACL in 2008, the hamstring method was used in his surgery.

    Basketball and golf are two entirely different sports and bear virtually no similarities in terms of the physical toll on an athlete's body, but Woods and Rose are similar in that they both exhibit a lot of torque on their lower body – Tiger with his powerful swing and Derrick with his sudden cuts, stops and changes of direction.

    There is a third method that can be used which is called an Allograft, a graft from a frozen cadaver. That sort of procedure, though, is usually recommended on older patients who doesn't plan to engage in any physical or sports related activities, and there is a risk of breakage requiring a second surgery and also disease transmission from implanting someone else's body part.

    Worth noting, with respect to both patellar grafts and hamstring grafts, that doctors usually specialize in either one method, not both as the hamstring graft method requires a higher level of technical skill.