If you need a ACL reconstruction, please Schedule an appointment with one of our orthopedic specialists as soon as possible.
What Is ACL Reconstruction?
ACL reconstruction is a surgical procedure performed to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in the knee. The ACL is one of the major ligaments that provide stability to the knee joint, preventing excessive forward movement of the shin bone (tibia) in relation to the thigh bone (femur).
The surgery involves several key steps:
- Graft Harvesting: The surgeon will select a graft source, which can be an autograft (taken from the patient’s own body) or an allograft (taken from a donor). Common autograft options include the patellar tendon, hamstring tendon, or quadriceps tendon.
- Incision and Arthroscopy: Small incisions are made around the knee, and an arthroscope (a small camera) is inserted into the joint to visualize the structures.
- ACL Removal: The torn ACL is carefully removed to prepare the area for the graft.
- Graft Placement: The selected graft is inserted into the knee and secured in place using screws, anchors, or other fixation devices. The graft is positioned to mimic the original ACL’s location and function.
- Closure: The incisions are closed with sutures or surgical staples, and a sterile dressing is applied.
Following the surgery, a rehabilitation program is initiated to aid in recovery and rehabilitation. Physical therapy exercises are prescribed to restore knee range of motion, strength, and stability. The rehabilitation process typically includes a progression of exercises, gradually increasing in intensity and complexity, to allow for proper healing of the graft and retraining of the muscles around the knee.
ACL reconstruction aims to restore stability and function to the knee joint, allowing individuals to return to their normal activities and sports participation. The success rate of ACL reconstruction is generally high, but full recovery can take several months, with a gradual return to sports or high-impact activities.
As with any surgical procedure, there are potential risks and complications associated with ACL reconstruction, including infection, bleeding, blood clots, graft failure, limited range of motion, and persistent instability. It is important to consult with an orthopedic surgeon specializing in knee injuries to evaluate your specific condition and determine the most appropriate treatment approach, which may or may not involve ACL reconstruction. The surgeon will consider various factors, such as the extent of the ACL tear, the patient’s age and activity level, and individual goals, to provide a personalized treatment plan.