What is the purpose and procedure of ACL(anterior cruciate ligament) reconstruction surgery?

ACL surgery is repairing or reconstructing the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). The ACL is an essential soft tissue of the knee that connects the femur to the tibia. A torn or torn ACL is a common injury in athletes. Complete ACL tears are often treated by sports medicine and surgeons in Orthopedic hospital with ACL reconstruction surgery, in which the torn ligament is replaced with tissue to mimic the natural ACL.

However, HSS takes a multidisciplinary approach to treating ACL injuries: physical therapists, sports physicians, and orthopedic surgeons—as well as radiologists and rehabilitation specialists— work together to determine the best treatment options for each patient. Since people with an ACL injury may develop knee arthritis earlier in life, HSS doctors and scientists continue to study ACL surgery techniques to improve short-term and long-term issues for patients in the best orthopedic hospital in Cuttack.

Orthopedic Hospital
  • A patient’s life 

People who permanently rupture their ACL and those who live an active lifestyle – exceptionally competitive athletes – will need surgery to regain their previous level of activity and prevent future injuries. In some elderly patients or others whose lifestyles do not include vigorous exercise, non-surgical treatments can return them to a regular ACL-free routine. However, anyone who returns to work without being restricted by a torn ACL can experience a knee dislocation if they are likely to tear their meniscus. The meniscus is a layer of cartilage that makes the bones that meet in the knee joint.

There are two menisci in every knee: the medial meniscus on the inside and the lateral meniscus on the outside. A torn meniscus will cause knee pain and, sometimes, swelling. More importantly, a damaged meniscus increases the risk of developing knee arthritis later in life.

  • Types of ACL surgery

In most cases, repairing or reattaching a torn ACL is impossible. ACL surgery usually involves the reconstruction of the ligament. This procedure, called an ACL reconstruction, is the current standard of care for the surgical treatment of a torn ACL.

Choosing the right surgical option for a torn ACL from the start can have long-term effects, and getting ACL surgery early is critical.

  • Advise to get ACL surgery

For a complete ACL tear, reconstructive surgery is usually scheduled between three and six weeks after the injury. This allows the inflammation in the area to go down. Patients may develop an arthrofibrosis inflammatory reaction if surgery is performed too soon.

Orthopedic surgeons evaluate the appropriate time for reconstructive surgery based on the following:

  • whether there are different wounds present, that should be dealt with first
  • the actual appearance of the knee
  • the patient’s degree of pain
  • the patient’s scope of movement and nature of muscle control while flexing (bowing) or expanding (fixing) the leg

Some evidence suggests that delaying ACL reconstruction surgery for six months or more after injury decreases a person’s chance of achieving clinical outcomes and increases the need for revision surgery—in the future.

The function of ACL surgery

In ACL reconstruction surgery, a new ACL is made by grafting replacement tissue from one of two sources: 

  • part of the patient’s hamstrings, quadriceps, or patellar muscles 
  • allograft (tissue from a human organ donor) 

The type of intervention is being determine for each patient individually. ACL reconstruction surgery is performing using a non-invasive arthroscopic technique, combining fiber optics, small incisions, and small instruments. However, relatively large incisions are necessary to obtain tissue grafts. ACL reconstruction is an outpatient (outpatient) procedure in which patients can go home the same day as their surgery.

Recovery time for ACL surgery

It usually takes six to nine months for a patient to return to sports after an ACL repair, depending on the level of competition and type of activity.

Patients can walk with crutches and leg braces on the day of surgery. Shortly after surgery, the patient enters a rehabilitation program to restore strength, stability, and range of motion in the knee. 

The rehabilitation process has a progression of exercises: 

  • Strength and flexibility exercises are start at the beginning of the recovery period. Running exercises begin at about four months.
  • Pivoting behavior starts around five months.
  • Return to the practice of competitive sports can begin after six months.

The pain associated with ACL recovery varies and can be successfully treating with medication. Recovery time also varies from patient to patient. Determining when a patient has fully recovered depends on restoring physical strength, range of motion, and knee joint alignment. Arthroscopic surgery has making the recovery time faster and easier than open surgery, which was how ACL reconstruction was done in the past. But to get a good result, the patient must have a proper rehabilitation period by the appropriate health care provider, with a follow-up appointment with the surgeon at the best orthopedic hospital.