ACL Reconstruction

Your ACL is Vital to Movement

Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) reconstruction is a surgical procedure that repairs a torn ACL, one of the key ligaments that helps stabilize your knee joint. The ACL can be injured during activities that involve sudden stops, changes in direction, or jumps. This procedure is crucial for athletes and individuals who wish to maintain an active lifestyle.

Understanding the Procedure

ACL reconstruction typically involves replacing the torn ligament with a graft. This graft can be taken from another part of your knee or, in some cases, from a deceased donor. The surgery is usually performed arthroscopically, which means it’s minimally invasive. Surgeons make small incisions around your knee and insert a tiny camera — an arthroscope — that allows them to view the inside of the joint and perform the surgery with precision.

The Graft Options

The two most common grafts are:

Autograft: Tissue taken from another part of your body, usually the patellar tendon, hamstring, or quadriceps.
Allograft: Tissue taken from a deceased donor.
Each option has its benefits and potential drawbacks, and the choice depends on various factors, including your age, activity level, and the surgeon’s preference.

Postoperative Care and Rehabilitation

Recovery and rehabilitation are crucial for a successful outcome. Post-surgery, you’ll likely need to wear a knee brace and use crutches. Physical therapy begins soon after surgery, focusing on regaining knee strength and mobility. A full return to sports or heavy physical activity can typically take six months to a year, depending on the individual’s recovery progress.

Success Rates and Considerations

ACL reconstruction has a high success rate, with many patients returning to their pre-injury level of activity. However, it’s important to have realistic expectations and follow your surgeon’s and physical therapist’s advice closely to achieve the best outcome. The goal is not just to repair the knee but to restore its functionality and prevent future injuries.

ACL reconstruction is a sophisticated procedure that has helped countless individuals regain knee stability and return to their active lifestyles.