Anterior cruciate ligament tears are among the most widespread knee injuries. They can be partial or complete. Many people need surgery if they have this injury, but not all. If the anterior cruciate ligament tear is complete or the knee is unstable, people will likely have to undergo surgery.
Likewise, if non-invasive treatment has not worked for individuals with a torn anterior cruciate ligament, their physician may recommend surgery. While the ligament cannot be repaired by stitching it back together, it can be reconstructed by attaching new tissue to it.
The purpose of anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction surgery is to restore the knee joint's range of motion, function, and stability. Anterior cruciate ligament surgery usually involves reconstructing it using a graft, which can be collected from the patient's body, in which case it is known as an autograft, or from a donor, in which case it is known as an allograft. Synthetic grafts are not recommended, as so far, they have proven to be inferior to natural grafts. Natural grafts are typically collected from:
Anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction is generally done using a minimally invasive, arthroscopic approach. The medical instruments and a tiny camera are inserted through small incisions in the knee joint. Subsequently, the surgeon will secure the graft to the shinbone and thighbone using sutures.
Most people can move the knee right after the surgery. Within a few days, post-operative rehabilitation will begin. Rehabilitation is essential, as it will:
The patient often has to engage in physical therapy following surgery. Some orthopedic surgeons recommend using knee braces, but not in all cases. Within the first several weeks after the procedure, the person should regain a range of motion as good as that of their opposite knee. Complete recovery takes roughly 9 months, and it may take 8 to 12 months or even more before athletes can return to their usual activity level.