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Introducing Perc-ACLR

POSTED ON IN Knee Latest News Ligament/tendon Regenexx-ACL BY Chris Centeno

perc-aclr-procedureAs many of you know, we pioneered the precise injection of a torn ACL with stem cells, but as we’ve published our results and get ready to publish a second paper, the procedure hasn’t been given a specific name. Recently, I was asked by Orthopedics Today to write one side of a “Point-Counter-Point” where I would argue that most ACL tears now being operated didn’t need surgery; whereas, another physician would argue the other side. This opportunity to get our work out there brought up an interesting problem: all modern procedures have snappy names. In fact, the surgery I would be arguing against has the name ACLR (ACL reconstruction). When I thought about that a bit, it hit me that the name for our procedure should be Perc-ACLR. Let me explain.

ACLR Has Issues

While it is the standard of care for ACL tears that are causing functional disability, ACL reconstruction surgery has its problems. For example, the new artificial ligament goes in at a much steeper angle than the original equipment, making the knee behave differently from a biomechanical standpoint. Also, the knee loses its critical and important position sense. Finally, ACL surgery hasn’t been shown to protect the knee from arthritis or prevent professional athlete’s careers from being shortened, which are some of the reasons many patients pursue the surgery.

Meet Perc-ACLR

Perc-ACLR stands for percutaneous ACL repair. Note that percutaneous denotes an injection without surgery and that “reconstruction” has been replaced with the word “repair.” The last bit is important, because rather than ripping the injured ligament out, drilling holes, and putting in an inferior substitute for the natural ligament, the Perc-ACLR procedure attempts to help the ligament repair itself.

Below is a comparison between the two procedures:


Suffice it to say that Perc-ACLR allows you to keep your natural ligament with all of the benefits of that, including the ability to feel the joint position and have normal biomechanics of the knee. Also, it doesn’t damage existing muscles (as has been shown with the tendon graft site with ACLR). Finally, recovery and return to play are much quicker, and the injection procedure has just a fraction of the complication rate of the surgical procedure.

The Upshot? Perc-ACLR is already changing the lives of athletes and weekend warriors worldwide, as we now have an ever-growing group of patients who were told that they needed their ACL removed and replaced with a poor substitute, who instead have gotten to keep their natural ligament. While only about 70% of surgical candidates can be helped with Perc-ACLR, that hopefully represents millions of patients over the next decade who will get to keep their own ACLs!

    *DISCLAIMER: Like all medical procedures, Regenexx® Procedures have a success and failure rate. Patient reviews and testimonials on this site should not be interpreted as a statement on the effectiveness of our treatments for anyone else.
    Providers listed on the Regenexx website are for informational purposes only and are not a recommendation from Regenexx for a specific provider or a guarantee of the outcome of any treatment you receive.


    Fitu says

    How soon before Insurance will cover this percedure is covered?


    Chris Centeno says

    Unfortunately, there is no way to know, as it's a very complex issue. Despite the evidence, the Insurance Industry considers stem cell procedures experimental. So what we can do is continue to do and publish peer reviewed research to the contrary. In addition, surgeries that don't work being performed and why they continue to be performed also contribute to the problem. : and


    Sam says

    Cool name!


    Jerry says

    I have chronic pain in my shoulder from my days of weight lifting. One shoulder had been repaired (rotator cuff surgery) and I have been told the other needs the same. Insurance doesn't cover the PRP procedure. Any thoughts on my next move


    Chris Centeno says

    Very important next move is proper diagnosis as then and only then will you know what your options are, as it's not necessarily the tear in your rotator cuff that's causing your pain.. While the Procedure is not covered by insurance, if you're in Network, the exams are. Here are the locations you can get that type of exam: Please see: and


    Steven Sarasini says

    I completely ruptured my ACL around one year ago (confirmed by MRI), is it too late to undergo this procedure?


    Chris Centeno says

    No, it's not too late. We'd need to read the MRI to see if your ACl meets the Candidacy criteria. Please submit the Candidacy form here:


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    About the Author

    Chris Centeno

    Christopher J. Centeno, M.D. is an international expert and specialist in regenerative medicine and the clinical use of mesenchymal stem cells in orthopedics. He is board certified in physical medicine as well as rehabilitation and in pain management through The American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.…

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