The Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) contributes to most of the stability in the knee joint. An ACL injury can drastically affect your ability to take part in strenuous sports and activities that involve twisting and rapid changes of direction.
Why do I need surgery?
Anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction, or ACL reconstruction, is one of the most common ligament reconstructions performed in the knee. It restores the function of the anterior cruciate ligament by removing and replacing the damaged ACL with a graft.
What does the operation involve?
You can expect to have three incisions made during surgery. Two will be small incisions on the knee to perform the arthroscopic (keyhole) surgery. The other will be a larger incision, about 4-5cm, below the knee to harvest the tendons needed for the graft.
Although there are different grafts that can be used a “hamstring tendon graft” is the most commonly used. ACL reconstruction can be performed as a day case or overnight surgery. Your surgeon can discuss and suggest the best option for you.
The replacement ligament is fixed with special screws or anchors in the bone.
Is ACL reconstruction surgery right for me?
If you are having problems with your knee giving way and treatments such as physiotherapy have not helped then your surgeon may suggest undergoing a surgical reconstruction.
Surgical reconstruction has a 90-95% success rate. Following an ACL reconstruction procedure knee stability can be restored enough for patients to return to strenuous activities, including high-level sport.
What are the benefits of surgery?
ACL reconstruction is widely performed and is generally safe operation with excellent results. It can allow you to return to your usual activities including high-level sports.
What are the risks?
Although rare as with any surgery there can be complications. Possible complications with ACL reconstruction surgery include, infection, blood clots, damage to blood vessels and nerves around the knee, numbness around the scar and leg, stiffness and pain in the knee. The graft can tear or loosen with time and “re-do” operation may be needed.
Contact My Knee Doc for more information and advice. Check out the links below for information on knee ligament injuries from NHS Choices.
Call 0161 4646399 today to arrange a consultation with Mr Gareth Stables.