ACL Reconstruction Surgery


ACL reconstruction surgery is an arthroscopic procedure that expedites and guides the healing of the anterior cruciate ligament in the knee.

What is it?

ACL reconstruction surgery is performed to repair a damaged or torn anterior cruciate ligament. The ACL attaches the tibia and femur through the knee and prevents hyperextension of the knee. These injuries are common among athletes and surgery is often required for the best healing outcomes. The ACL has a low blood supply from the capillaries which limits its self-healing capability. The surgery and overall healing process often requires grafts, either from the patient or a donor, to reconstruct the ligament attachment.

What should I do to prepare?

Before receiving surgery, the patient should consult with a physician or surgeon to determine if this surgery is the proper course of action. X-rays and other diagnostic imaging techniques are used to develop a treatment plan. Medication plans and fasting routines may be necessary depending on the surgeon’s guidelines. ACL reconstruction surgery is typically an inpatient procedure, so the patient should expect to remain at the hospital for post-surgical evaluation. Additionally, the patient should arrange travel accommodations in advance.

What happens during the process?

The surgeon accesses the ACL by drilling a tunnel into the femur or tibia. In addition to this opening, the surgeon requires a graft to reconstruct the connection between the two bones. The patella tendon is the most commonly used graft for younger, active athletes and has demonstrated much success in past outcomes. Using arthroscopic tools, the surgeon threads a graft through the tunnels. The new graft is secured by staples or sutures. In the following months of recovery, the patient is advised to resume activity slowly and carefully.

What are the risks and potential complications?

Risks that accompany surgical procedures include but are not limited to improper anesthesia, infections, nerve damage, excessive bleeding,  an inability of the wound to heal, and bone fractures. There is also the risk that the artificial joints are not implemented properly.


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