Re: ACL donor ligament
I'm not to far off from you. I had an ACL repair with my own patellar tendon in 1996 (in NJ) and then due to a bad surgeon had it fixed in 1998 with a donor tendon (in IL).
If your knee is unstable, doesn't function right, or is injured you can have ACL failure again. And unfortunately it's likely just as painful. When someone tears an ACL the pain that is felt is not, for the most part, from the ligament tearing or rupturing. The pain you feel is from the damage to the other soft tissues of the knee especially if the ACL tear is due to injury. Without the ACL the knee can be unstable and have swelling and pain. If your "new" ACL fails without an incident (fall, injury, accident, etc) then it's likely to be much less painful initially but can cause knee swelling and pain as the joint is unstable (most of the time) without an ACL.
There have been a few times when I'd swear my ACL was "gone". I had an MRI two weeks ago that showed the ACL is great, in place, and in fine shape from one end to the other (in structure of ACL and how they anchor it). The pain is likely due to cartilage problems and my now existent knee arthritis. Please keep in mind my right knee is a DISASTER so my current problems with arthritis are not always the case post ACL repair.
Rt thumb fusion '13. R&L thumb arthroplasty '12 ; RT TKR & Bilat CTS' 11. Fusions: L5-S1('87), L4-S1('93), C5-C7('06), L3-S1('10), C4-C5('13). C5-C7 foraminotomy '08