ACL Reconstruction Surgery – What one needs to know
A Reconstruction of the ACL, or anterior cruciate ligament is a surgery meant to restore stability and strength to the knee for stability; after a knee ligament has been torn. The remnants of the torn ligament are removed and replaced with another ligament from the patient’s body or with tissue from a cadaver.
In case you’re considering an ACL surgery in Delhi or have already decided to get one, this article will be helpful. Our team of highly experienced surgeons performs one of the best ACL surgeries in Delhi and you can contact our hospital for sports injuries in Dwarka if you need immediate help.
The knee is a joint where the thighbone meets the shinbone and this vital joint is held together by four ligaments which connect the bones to each other, they are:
- * Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL)
- * Medial collateral ligament (MCL)
- * Lateral collateral ligament (LCL)
- * Posterior cruciate ligament (PCL)
The ACL runs diagonally between the shinbone and thighbone and keeps the shinbone from slipping in front of the thighbone. It also gives stability to the knee when it rotates from side to side.
An ACL tear is one of the most common knee injuries among people who participate in high-impact sports, however, it can happen to anyone. Sports like football, basketball, hockey, are some sports with high ACL injuries.
The majority of ACL injuries occur without any actual physical contact with another player and mostly occur when athletes twist or pivot during play.
When is ACL Reconstruction Done?
ACL reconstructive surgery will be done to repair a torn ACL to get back stability and movement in the knee. While not all cases of a torn ligament will need surgery, very active people or those in constant pain can opt for surgery.
ACL reconstruction is recommended if you’re young and very active if you’re suffering from constant knee pain if your injury is causing your knee to buckle during daily activities like walking and of course, if you are an athlete who wants to remain in the game
How to Prepare for ACL Reconstruction?
We start off with appointments with our doctors and surgeon prior to surgery and you’ll discuss treatment options, undergo knee examinations, and together you’ll take a call about which type of anaesthesia to use during surgery. During the meetings, ask questions, we’re here for that. If not here then make to sure to visit one of the best hospitals for ACL surgery in Delhi.
In case you’re wondering where the replacement tendon will come from, there are a few tendons such as
- * Patellar tendon: which attaches the bottom of the kneecap to the shinbone
- * Hamstring: connects the long muscles in the back of your leg to the back of the knee
- * Quadriceps: this graft is usually used for taller or heavier patients, or for people who had previous unsuccessful grafts.
- * Cadaver: tissue from a dead body, called an allograft
Our doctors will give you complete instructions for surgery which may include fasting for 12 hours before surgery and not taking aspirin or blood-thinning medications.
We can have someone help you get here and be with you for surgery, but we advise you to have another person to take post-operative instructions and to drive you back home, which we can do as well.
How ACL Reconstruction Is Performed?
You’ll change into a hospital gown and have an intravenous (IV) line placed in your arm which will allow the surgical team to administer medications, anaesthesia, or sedatives as needed.
Once the sample tissue is selected, it will surgically be removed from your own body or extracted from a cadaver. The tendon will then be outfitted with “bone plugs,” or anchor points, to graft the tendon into the knee.
A small incision is made in the front of the knee for an arthroscope (a thin tube with a fibre optic camera and surgical tools) which allows surgeons to examine your knee from inside during the procedure.
The surgeon will first remove the torn ACL and cleanse the area, then small holes will be drilled into the shinbone and thighbone so the bone plugs can be attached with posts, screws, staples, or washers.
Following the attachment of the replacement ligament, the surgeon will examine the knee’s range of motion and tension to make sure the graft is secure. Finally, the opening will be stitched, wound dressed, and your knee will be stabilised with a brace. The length of surgeries varies on factors like the experience of the surgeon and if additional procedures are done such as meniscal repair.
At Aakash Healthcare, typically our patients can go home within 24 hours of the surgery.
After an ACL surgery, you can expect some pain, restricted activity for some months, walking with crutches for almost six weeks, and wearing a knee brace for at least a week. You can regain range of motion in your knee within a few weeks and athletes typically return to their sports within six to 12 months. Once the surgery is successful, your physical therapy regimen can begin. The success of therapy varies from person to person
Dr. Aashish Chaudhry,
Director & Head
Orthopaedics, Joint Replacement & Spine Surgery