The ACL reconstruction surgery is performed in order to replace a torn anterior cruciate ligament or ACL. The ACL is one of the major ligaments in the knee. The cause behind ACL injuries is mostly sports that require sudden changes in direction or sudden stops. Basketball, football, volleyball, downhill skiing, gymnastics, and tennis are some examples of sports that can cause these injuries.
In an ACL reconstruction surgery, the damaged ligament is removed and is replaced with a tendon from either another part of the knee or from a deceased donor. The surgery is performed through small incisions that are made around the patient’s knee joint, and is an outpatient procedure.
Why is it done?
The ACL is one of two ligaments that cross in the knee’s middle. The ACL connects the thighbone to the shin bone and stabilizes the knee joint. For people who are relatively inactive and engage in moderate exercises or play such sports that do not put much stress on the knee, a course of physical therapy may prove successful. But ACL reconstruction surgery is recommended for:
- Athleteswho wish to continue in their sport, especially if jumping, cutting or pivoting are involved in the sport.
- People who have injured more than one ligament or even the cartilage in the knee
- People who are young and active
- Injuries that are causing the knee to buckle even during everyday activities
As with all surgical procedures, ACL reconstruction also carries a risk of bleeding and infection at the surgical site. Other risks include:
- Knee stiffness, weakness, or pain
- Poor healing
- Failure to achieve relief from the symptoms