Dr. Patrick McCulloch: Orthopedic Surgery: Houston, TX

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ACL Specialist

Dr. Patrick McCulloch

Orthopedic Surgery & Sports Medicine located in Houston, TX

An anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear does not heal by itself. Dr. Patrick McCulloch, known for performing a high volume of ACL surgeries in Houston, Texas, treats both adults and adolescents. He offers consultations and treatments at three convenient locations: Spring Valley, Bellaire, and the Texas Medical Center. Dr. McCulloch is at the forefront of ACL surgery and rehabilitation research, including innovative techniques like blood flow restriction (BFR) therapy to expedite recovery. If you’re dealing with an ACL injury, contact Dr. McCulloch’s office today to schedule an appointment.


What is an ACL injury?

The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is one of your knee’s four crucial ligaments and helps to stabilize your knee joint by crossing in front of the posterior cruciate ligament (PCL). An ACL injury, commonly a sprain or tear, often occurs during sports activities when there is a sudden stop or change in direction. Sports with high demands, such as soccer, football, basketball, and skiing, are particularly associated with a higher incidence of ACL injuries.

How do I know if I have an ACL injury?

A telltale sign of an ACL injury is often a popping sound at the time of injury, accompanied by:

  • Pain and instability in the knee
  • Swelling and tenderness
  • Reduced range of motion
  • Difficulty walking

These symptoms can be similar to other knee issues like meniscus tears, making it crucial to consult Dr. McCulloch for a precise diagnosis. His team will thoroughly assess your knee and review both your symptoms and medical history.

What treatments are available for an ACL injury?

Dr. McCulloch tailors treatment plans to each patient’s needs. Since an ACL tear cannot heal on its own, surgery is generally required to restore full function and enable a return to sports. However, nonsurgical options such as physical therapy and bracing might be advised before surgery (prehabilitation) and could suffice for those less physically active.

What does ACL surgery involve?

Most ACL injuries require reconstruction rather than simple repair. Dr. McCulloch performs this as an outpatient procedure using minimally invasive arthroscopic techniques, where the damaged ACL is replaced with a graft taken from either the patient’s body or a donor. Dr. McCulloch also handles complex revision surgeries for worn or failed ACL grafts.

What is the recovery process like after ACL surgery?

Recovery from minimally invasive arthroscopic ACL surgery typically involves less pain and a shorter recovery period compared to traditional open surgery. Effective rehabilitation is crucial for regaining pre-injury performance levels. Dr. McCulloch incorporates cutting-edge recovery techniques in the rehabilitation process, including blood flow restriction (BFR) exercises and innovative equipment like the HydroWorx underwater treadmill and the Alter-G anti-gravity treadmill. He also utilizes an injury prevention program and conducts objective testing to evaluate when athletes are ready to return to sports.

For state-of-the-art ACL surgery and recovery plans, contact Dr. Patrick McCulloch’s office to schedule a consultation today.



Sports Injuries

Rotator Cuff Tear
Shoulder Replacement
Shoulder Instability
Meniscus Tear
Cartilage Injuries
Elbow Surgery