ACL Reconstruction Surgery: Purpose, Procedure & Recovery

What is ACL Reconstruction?

ACL stands for Anterior Cruciate Ligament, which of the main ligaments of the knee as well as the entire body. ACL Reconstruction as the name suggests is replacing or reconstructing the damaged cruciate ligament, ACL reconstruction is a highly recommended treatment to sports-persons all around the world. The ACL injuries cause due to sudden and blunt change in the direction of the knee such as the motions in Football, Gymnastics, Basketball, Soccer, and Rugby;

What are the major causes of this ligament injury?

It happens, mostly during athletic activities and sudden shock in the knee area, due to slowing down and turning all of a sudden that causes a blow to the knee and receives a sudden jerk in the knee area, this happens mostly due to yanking during a move.

What exactly happens during ACL Reconstruction Surgery?

  • Before the surgery

You will be advised to undergo physical therapy for a few weeks, to reduce swelling, pain, stiffness, and to attain the knee's full range of motion. It is helpful for the patient since, without physical therapy, the knee might not have the full range of motion.

  • During the surgery

The patient is desensitized by general anaesthesia so that they don't feel any pain. Now the orthopaedic surgeon will make a few incisions in the knee area to insert the arthroscope (A tube-like instrument that has light and camera at the top) with the help of surgical equipment like saws, blades.

Now the surgeon will remove the torn ligament with the help of a scalpel and then replace it with graft. The graft is a tissue taken out from other parts of the body in this case from the knee or a tendon of a deceased donor.

The Surgeon will carefully remove the broken tendon and replace it with the graft. Once a surgeon installs the graft, he fixes it by screw and threads. After the fixation of the graft, a surgeon stitches the incisions.

What happens after the ACL Reconstruction?

After performing successful surgery; you will get discharged by the hospital on the very same day since it is an outstation surgery; The doctor will tell you to wear a knee cap and braces to protect the graft from any shock, and you will be advised to go through physical therapy for a few months before you get back to the usual routine. The surgeon instructs you to walk with the help of crutches for a few days. Follow all the instructions given by the surgeon to reduce swelling and experience minimum pain. Applying ice packs is also recommended.

The physical therapy is necessary to strengthen the muscles around the knee and increase flexibility. Hence it is advised that you follow the program planned by your supervising doctor or therapist.

It takes around 8 to 12 months for an athlete to back at the field with all the force.


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