LCL reconstruction surgery repairs a damaged or torn lateral collateral ligament.
What is it?
LCL reconstruction surgery is used to repair or restore the lateral collateral ligament, which connects the femur and tibia laterally. The surgery and overall healing process often requires grafts, either from the patient or a donor, to reconstruct the ligament attachment. In addition to the surgery, several months of wearing a brace is necessary for an optimal recovery.
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. LCL 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 LCL 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 and to wear a brace.
What are the risks and potential complications?
Risks that accompany this surgical procedure 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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