Anterior Cruciate Ligament ACL Reconstruction
The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is a ligament that connects and stabilises the femur (thigh bone) and tibia (shin bone). It is an important ligament for normal knee function and stability. If the knee twists abnormally or suffers an injury, the anterior cruciate ligament can sustain a partial tear or a complete rupture.
Reconstruction of the ACL ligament aims to provide a stable knee joint. It involves replacing the torn ligament with a tendon graft usually taken from the patella or the hamstring muscle. The surgery is done through an arthroscope. This is a thin fibre optic telescope, which is passed into the joint through a small incision at the front of the knee. The graft is then fixed to the bones at the site of the original ligament.
This surgery is done under a general and local anaesthetic. In most cases patients will remain in hospital overnight.
It is reasonable to expect a moderate amount of pain after knee ligament surgery. Crutches are also important to assist in partial weight bearing for around 2 weeks after the procedure. Return to normal activity after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction depends upon a number of factors. These include the surgery and your pre-existing level of activity. In all cases, physiotherapy plays an integral part in rehabilitation and is essential in achieving a successful outcome.