Ligaments are strong bands of tissue that connect one bone to another. The ACL, one of two ligaments that cross in the middle of the knee, connects your thighbone (femur) to your shinbone (tibia) and helps stabilize your knee joint.
Most ACL injuries happen during sports and fitness activities also in road traffic accidents. The ligament may tear when you slow down suddenly to change direction or pivot with your foot firmly planted, twisting or overextending your knee, this can happen even during routine activities of daily living.
Goal of performing an ACL reconstruction is to prevent Meniscal injuries, cartilaginous injuries and early onset of osteoarthritis.
ACL reconstruction is surgery to replace the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) — A torn ACL is replaced with a piece of tendon from another part of your leg.
You are highly recommended to have a ACL surgery when
- You're an athlete and want to continue in your sport, especially if the sport involves jumping, cutting or pivoting
- More than one ligament or the cartilage in your knee is injured
- You're young and active
- The injury is causing your knee to buckle during everyday activities, such as stair climbing
When to do the surgery?
In isolated acl reconstructions it can be done within 4 months, beyond 4 months literature shows there is cartilage changes and 20% chances of developing meniscal tears
In cases with coexisting meniscal and multi ligament injuries surgery has to be done at the earliest.
ACL reconstruction is usually done through small incisions[arthroscopic] — one to hold a thin, tube-like video camera (arthroscope) and the others to allow surgical instruments access to the joint space.
Associated pathologies of meniscus and other ligament injuries will be addressed if it is present to prevent treatment failures.
After the procedure
Once you recover from the anesthesia, you'll be allowed to go home next day. Before you go home, you'll practice walking with crutches and your surgeon may ask you to wear a knee brace or splint to help protect the graft for a month.
We follow international phased ACL reconstruction protocols for faster recovery and allow the patient to get back into their previous activities at the earliest.
Successful ACL reconstruction paired with rigorous rehabilitation can restore the stability and function to your knee. Within the first few weeks after surgery, you should strive to regain knee range of motion equal to that of your opposite side. Athletes often can return to their sports after 6 months.