What is ACL Reconstruction
When a person’s ACL is damaged or torn, an orthopedist will recommend ACL reconstruction surgery to repair it. It is a common procedure carried out by orthopedists every year, as the ACL is regularly injured, especially amongst athletes.
What is ACL Reconstruction Surgery?
This surgery utilizes a graft to replace the damaged ligament and the most frequently used grafts are auto-grafts from part of a patient’s own body, for example one of the hamstring tendons or the patellar tendon (the tendon from the kneecap). Another preferred alternative is the allograft tissue taken from deceased donors.
Orthopedic surgeons perform ACL surgery by creating one large incision, also known as open surgery, or cutting small incisions in the patient’s knee and inserting tools all the way through the incisions, which is popularly known as arthroscopic surgery.
Why is Arthroscopic Surgery Popular?
A large number of orthopedists perform arthroscopic surgery, as part of ACL reconstruction, for various reasons, which include:
- It is easy to work on the knee structures and to see
- Compared to open surgery, it uses smaller incisions
- It may possibly have a smaller number of risks compared to open surgery
- It can be performed simultaneously with diagnostic Arthroscopy
Typically, this type of surgery is carried out under general anesthesia or spinal anesthesia.
What Patients Should Expect Post-Surgery
Arthroscopic ACL reconstruction surgery is frequently performed on an outpatient basis. This means that a patient is not hospitalized, unlike other surgical interventions that may require a patient to stay in the hospital for a couple of nights. After surgery, patients are advised to care for their incisions by keeping it clean and dry at all times. Additionally, they need to watch for any signs of infection.
Orthopedic surgeons will organize rehabilitation for six to 12 months. Keep in mind that each person’s recovery period is different – one patient may be able to return to his daily or sports activities within four to six months, whereas another patient may take longer.
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