ACL Reconstruction is a surgery to replace the Anterior Cruciate Ligament of the knee joint. The Anterior Cruciate Ligament is an important stabilizer of the knee that needs to work correctly for you to participate in sports and many other vigorous activities. This ligament is most commonly damaged in sports injuries. Knee ligaments can also be damaged in automobile accidents, falls, or work injuries.
If the Anterior Cruciate Ligament is completely torn, the knee will become unstable – or loose – and this can make the further aggressive activity difficult or impossible. It is also common for other portions of the knee to be damaged at the same time that the Anterior Cruciate Ligament is torn. The meniscus cartilages and articular cartilages, along with other knee ligaments, are frequently affected by sports injuries.
The Anterior Cruciate Ligament does not heal well after being torn in a severe injury. To restore stability and function to the knee joint, the Anterior Cruciate Ligament must be reconstructed, which means that it must be replaced. Artificial ligaments have not yet been successful, so the ligament is typically replaced using actual ligament or tendon tissue. This ligament or tendon can come from another portion of the same knee that is being repaired. Another option is to use a cadaver ligament. Typically, other injured structures such as torn meniscus cartilages can be addressed at the same time the Anterior Cruciate Ligament is reconstructed.
Anterior Cruciate Ligament reconstructive surgery is a major procedure that requires arthroscopic surgery combined with open incisions. The exact method of reconstruction will depend on the patient’s individual circumstances that they discuss with their surgeon. Our patients are usually up and around walking within a few days after the procedure. Several months of physical therapy are then required before returning to sports or aggressive work activities.
If you have an Anterior Cruciate Ligament or other knee injuries, you may call our offices to schedule an appointment to be evaluated. If you are already considering Anterior Cruciate Ligament surgery, you can see one of our orthopedic surgeons to discuss the procedure in detail.