What is ACL Reconstruction?
ACL reconstruction is a commonly performed surgical procedure and with recent advances in arthroscopic surgery can now be performed with minimal incision and low complication rates.
The advancements in arthroscopic surgery make it easy for surgeons to see and work on knee structures through small incisions. Repair of the torn ligament can be performed at the same time as the diagnostic arthroscopy with fewer surgical risks.
The surgery can usually be done as an outpatient procedure which means you may be discharged to go home on the same day as the procedure.
Treatment of ACL Tears
Treatment options include both non-surgical and surgical methods. If the overall stability of the knee is intact, your doctor may recommend non-surgical methods. Non-surgical treatment consists of rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE protocol); all assist in controlling pain and swelling. Physical therapy may be recommended to improve knee motion and strength. A knee brace may be needed to help immobilize your knee.
Young athletes involved in pivoting sports will most likely require surgery to safely return to sports. The usual surgery for an ACL tear is an ACL reconstruction which tightens your knee and restores its stability. Surgery to reconstruct an ACL is done with an arthroscope using small incisions. Your doctor will replace the torn ligament with a tissue graft that can be obtained from your knee (patellar tendon) or hamstring muscle. Following ACL reconstruction, a rehabilitation program is started to help you to resume a wider range of activities.