ACL reconstruction surgery is performed to replace a torn Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL).
During the ACL reconstruction procedure, the torn ligament is removed and replaced with a piece of tendon from another part of your knee or a deceased donor.
It is an outpatient procedure that is performed through small incisions around the knee joint.
ACL reconstruction is performed by an orthopedist who specializes in surgical procedures of the bones and joints.
ACL reconstruction is generally recommended if:
- The patient is an athlete and wants to continue in sports.
- More than one ligament in the knee is injured.
- The injury is causing the knee to buckle during daily activities.
- The patient is young.
Some significant risks associated with ACL reconstruction are:
- Knee pain or stiffness
- Poor healing of the graft
- Graft failure after returning to sport
Successful ACL reconstruction combined with focused rehabilitation can usually restore the stability and function of the knee.
After a few weeks of the surgery, the patient should strive to regain a range of motion equivalent to that of his opposite knee.
Recovery generally takes around nine months.
For athletes, it may even take eight to 12 months or more before returning to their sports.