ACL Reconstruction Surgery

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ACL reconstruction is surgery to reconstruct the ligament in the center of your knee. The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) keeps your shin bone (tibia) in location. A tear of this ligament can cause your knee to give way during physical activity.

Description of Knee ACL Reconstruction Surgery

The majority of people have basic anesthesia right before surgery. This indicates you will be sleeping and pain-free. Other type of anesthesia, like regional anesthesia or a block, might likewise be used for anterior cruciate ligament repair work.

The tissue to replace your damaged ACL will come from your own body or from a donor. A donor is a person who has actually died and opted to give all or part of his/her body to assist others.

  • Tissue taken from your own body is called an autograft. The two most common places to take tissue from are the knee cap tendon or the hamstring tendon. Your hamstring is the muscle behind your knee.
  • Tissue drawn from a donor is called an allograft.

The procedure is generally carried out with the aid of knee arthroscopy. With arthroscopy, a small camera is inserted into the knee through a small surgical cut. The camera is linked to a video monitor in the operating space. Your surgeon will use the camera to inspect the ligaments and other tissues of your knee.

Your surgeon will make other small cuts around your knee and insert other medical instruments. Your surgeon will fix any other damage discovered, and then will replace your ACL by following these actions:

  • The torn ligament will be removed with a razor or other instruments.
  • If your own tissue is being used to make your new ACL, your surgeon will make a larger cut. Then, the autograft will be eliminated through this cut.
  • Your surgeon will make tunnels in your bone to bring the new tissue through. This new tissue will be in the very same place as your old ACL.
  • Your surgeon will connect the new ligament to the bone with screws or other devices to hold it in location. As it recovers, the bone tunnels fill in. This holds the new ligament in place.

At the end of the surgery, your surgeon will close your cuts with stitches (stitches) and cover the area with a dressing. You may be able to view pictures after the procedure of what the doctor saw and what was done during the surgery.

When ACL Replacement Surgery Required

If you do not have your ACL reconstructed, your knee may continue to be unsteady. This increases the opportunity you might have a meniscus tear. ACL reconstruction might be used for these knee problems:

  • Knee that gives way or feels unstable during everyday activities
  • Knee pain
  • Failure to continue playing sports or other activities
  • When other ligaments are also hurt
  • When your meniscus is torn

Prior to surgery, speak to your health care service provider about the time and effort you will have to recover. You will have to follow a rehab program for 4 to 6 months. Your ability to go back to full activity will depend on how well you follow the program.

Risks Related to ACL Reconstruction Surgery

The risks from any anesthesia are:

  • Allergies to medications
  • Breathing problems

The risks from any surgery are:

  • Bleeding
  • Infection

Other risks from this surgery may include:

  • Embolism in the leg
  • Failure of the ligament to heal
  • Failure of the surgery to alleviate symptoms
  • Injury to a close-by blood vessel
  • Pain in the knee
  • Stiffness of the knee or lost range of motion
  • Weakness of the knee

Before the Procedure

Always inform your healthcare service provider what drugs you are taking, even drugs, supplements, or herbs you bought without a prescription.

During the 2 weeks prior to your surgery:

  • You may be asked to stop taking drugs that make it harder for your blood to embolisms. These consist of aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Naprosyn, Aleve), and other drugs.
  • Ask your supplier which drugs you need to still handle the day of your surgery.
  • If you have diabetes, heart disease, or other medical conditions, your surgeon will ask you to see the provider who treats you for these conditions.
  • If you smoke, attempt to stop. Smoking cigarettes can decrease wound and bone healing. Ask your suppliers for help if you need it.
  • Always let your company know about any cold, flu, fever, herpes breakout, or other diseases you might have prior to your surgery.

On the day of your surgery:

  • You will typically be asked not to drink or eat anything for 6 to 12 hours prior to ACL replacement surgery.
  • Take your drugs you have actually been informed to take with a small sip of water.
  • You will be informed when to come to the health center.

 

Prognosis after ACL Replacement Surgery

Many people will have a stable knee that does not give way after ACL reconstruction. Better surgical approaches and rehabilitation have actually resulted in:

  • Less pain and stiffness after surgery.
  • Less complications with the surgery itself.
  • Faster recovery time.

What Is Recovery Time after ACL Reconstruction Surgery?

Your recovery from ACL surgery will be dependent on numerous things coming together. The vital components are you, your surgeon, your physiotherapist along with your athletic trainer.

Many people can go home the day of your surgery. You might have to wear a knee brace for the first 1 to 4 weeks. You also might require crutches for 1 to 4 weeks. Most people are allowed to move their knee right after surgery. This might assist prevent tightness. You might require medicine for your pain.

Physical therapy can assist many people restore movement and strength in their knee. Therapy can last 4 to 6 months.

How quickly you return to work will depend upon the type of work you do. It can be from a few days to a few months. A full go back to activities and sports will typically take 4 to 6 months.

  • You need to be owned and ready to put in the effort
  • Your surgeon needs to be good at performing ACL surgery.
  • Your therapist and athletic fitness instructor have to be well versed in appropriate protocols for rehab and go back to sports criteria.
  • You need to comprehend the “biology of healing”. It can take more than 12 months for a few of you to return to sports.

Most professional athletes will require a minimum of 8 months before considering a return to sports. Going back to sports after ACL surgery prior to that is really extremely unusual, and really dangerous. Far too many who return to sports earlier than 6 months were not ready to and risk more injury. The reinjury rate following ACL surgery can be as much as 40-50% if you are not correctly restored. The reinjury rate falls to 12-20% if you finish a proper ACL recovery protocol.


Last modified: September 26, 2017

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