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ACL Reconstruction

ACL stands for anterior cruciate ligament ACL reconstruction is a surgical procedure used to reconstruct the ligaments in the center of the knees. It helps in keeping the shin bone, tibia in place.

Why it is required

It is used to stabilize the knee. ACL reconstruction is used if:

  • The knee feels unstable while doing ...
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ACL Reconstruction

ACL stands for anterior cruciate ligament ACL reconstruction is a surgical procedure used to reconstruct the ligaments in the center of the knees. It helps in keeping the shin bone, tibia in place.

Why it is required

It is used to stabilize the knee. ACL reconstruction is used if:

  • The knee feels unstable while doing daily activities.
  • If one feels continuous pain in the knees.
  • If a person faces problems in taking part in sports or other physical activities; due to problem in the knee.
  • If there is meniscus tear.

How procedure is done

The surgeon uses anaesthesia before the surgery; it can be general anaesthesia or other type of anaesthesia depending on the condition of the patient. ACL can be done in two ways:

Autograft: here tissue to replace the damaged ACL is taken from the body of the patient itself. Generally the tissue is taken from the knee cap tendon or the hamstring tendon.

Allograft: here tissue to replace the damaged ACL is taken from a donor, a person who has died and chose to donate his parts of his body to the needy.

The ACL procedure is done with the help of knee arthroscopy. The arthroscope is inserted through a small insertion in the knee. The arthroscope is used to view the actual condition of the ligament and other tissues of the knee. Once the problem is assessed, the surgeon removes the torn ligament with a shaver or other medical instruments. If ACL is done through autografting, the Autograft will be removed from the patients the knee cap tendon or the hamstring tendon. The surgeon brings the new tissue to replace the ACL through a tunnel that he makes in the bone. The new tissue or ligament is attached to the bone with screws. With time the damaged ligament heals and the bone tunnels also fill up. When the surgery ends the surgeon stitches the cuts and dressing is done.

Before ACL procedure

  • Consult the doctor about which medicines to continue and which ones to stop. The doctor may restrict the use of drugs which makes blood clotting difficult, like aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Naprosyn, Aleve) etc.
  • If the person is suffering from cold, flu, fever, herpes breakout, or any other such illness, he before the surgery, he should inform the doctor immediately.
  • On the day of the surgery the patient should not drink or eat anything for six to twelve hours, before the surgery is done.

After the ACL procedure

After the surgery the patient is kept under observation for a couple of hours, and then he can go home if there are no complications. The patient will have to wear a knee brace or need to use crutches for one to four weeks. The patient will be trained for certain exercises which would prevent knee stiffness,; and to regain strength and motion in their knees. Total recovery takes some four to six months.

Risks involved

A patient undergoing ACL procedure may face the following risks:

  • Allergic reaction to medicines
  • Breathing problem
  • Bleeding and infection at the insertion site.
  • Blood clotting in the legs.
  • Injury to nearby blood vessels.
  • Failure in the healing process of the ligament.
  • Pain in the knees.
  • Knees may feel weak.