Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction is a surgery in which the anterior cruciate ligament, situated in the knee, is replaced with a tissue graft. It is conducted to treat the torn ACL, which plays a significant role in maintaining the stability of the knee joint. This is a minimally invasive procedure in which the goal is to restore stability in the knee of the patient and help them achieve full range of motion. It is a trusted and popular surgical procedure that has helped many patients regain stability and motion.
When is it performed?
ACL reconstruction is performed in patients with the torn anterior cruciate ligament. It is done after taking into account the health, age, the extent of damage, and physical activity of the patient. Only those who have a significant tearing in the ligament are considered fit for the surgery.
How is it performed?
ACL reconstruction is performed under general anesthesia by orthopedic surgeons. The surgeon makes small incisions around the knee and using an arthroscope, the surgeon inspects the interior of the knee. After locating the torn ligament, the surgeon removes it and then takes bone graft (harvested from the patient’s body) and inserts it in the knee with an arthroscopic grasper. It is then fixed in place with a pin. Lastly, the incisions are stitched with sutures or staples.
The recovery takes around six weeks as this is the time needed for the bone to attach to the graft. During this time, the patient has to take precautions and not put pressure on the knee. Pain and swelling may also persist in the knee for which medications are given. The patient should also begin physical therapy to gain strength and flexibility. Full recovery can take anywhere from six months to one year.