Paul Parker - Orthopeadic Surgeon



Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction

Anterior cruciate ligament surgery has come on leaps and bounds over the past ten or twenty years. Surgical repair was often inadvisable due to the poor outcome and high complication rates. The operation now involves one or two days in hospital, a brace–free recovery period and crutches for a few days. For four to six months after the operation you will need some physiotherapy but by nine months, you should be completely active again. This includes contact sports and skiing! If you are an active sportsperson and rupture your anterior cruciate ligament, the earlier you have it repaired the better. Pre-operative physiotherapy is helpful as the knee needs 4-6 weeks to settle down after the injury. It is fair to say that some people do decide to take a step down in their activity level after injury and do not require repair, some opt to wear a brace. Most young (at heart!) people prefer to have the ligament reconstructed. This preserves the cartilages in the knee which in turn protects the joint’s bearing surfaces and delays the onset of wear and tear.

The operation takes about one and a half to two hours. The central 1/3 of your patellar tendon is harvested (don’t worry – the other 2/3 copes just fine). This leaves a 9-10 cm scar on the front of your knee, this fades after a few months. The knee is examined arthroscopically and any other damage to the cartilage or joint bearing surfaces treated (links to Meniscal repair and Microfracture). The old ACL remnants are trimmed out and the tunnels drilled for the new graft. This is then passed into the knee and screwed into place. The new ACL is a strong band and is at least as strong as the original. The knee is washed out, stitched up, filled with local anaesthetic and a broad bandage applied. You will be up on crutches the next day and will be ready to go home.

See as well...
» Total Hip Replacement » Resurfacing Hip Replacement
» Total Knee Replacement » Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction
» Knee Arthroscopy » Ankle Arthroscopy & Ligament Reconstruction
» Sports Medicine » Bunions
» Sports Surgery » Surgery Game from Internet [External Link]


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