The Orthopedic Blog

What are the Risks of ACL Surgery

Posted on Sat, Sep 7, 2013 @ 11:09 AM

What are the Risks of ACL Surgery 

ACL surgery involves repairing or reconstructing the knee ligament. This reconstruction surgical procedure uses a graft to replace the torn or damaged ligament. The most commonly used grafts are the ones in your hamstring or kneecap tendons. An allograft is also used, which is obtained from deceased donors. The repair surgery is typically necessary when an avulsion fracture occur, which is a separation of a bone section from the original bone and the ACL. 

Risks of ACL Surgery

Generally, ACL surgery is very safe, but complications may arise at times, which may include the following: 

1. Issues related to the surgical intervention itself – these are uncommon issues but may include:

- Numbness in the surgery scar areaacl surgery risks
- Damage to blood vessels, nerves, or structures around and in the knee joint
- The normal risks of anesthesia
- Blood clots in the knee and/or leg
- Infection in the incisions

2. Problems with the graft (stretching, scar tissue re-injury, or loosening), as the screws used to attach the graft tendon to the patient’s leg bones might cause problems and necessitate removal.

3. Restricted range of motion, normally at the extremes, for instance, patients may be unable to completely bend or straighten their injured leg as far as the other leg. While this is uncommon, but if it occurs, another ACL surgery or manipulation under general anesthesia may help. 

4. Grating of the patient’s kneecap as it moves against the end of the femur and this may occur in people who did not have this problem prior to surgery. This particular problem can be very painful and restrict the patient’s athletic performance, for example.

5. Patients may feel extreme pain when kneeling, especially in the area where the graft was taken. This can be the patellar tendon or in the area of the tibia (where a patella or hamstring tendon graft is connected or attached).

Are you undergoing ACL surgery reconstruction and in need of more information about the possible risks? Please call 646-593-7305 and speak to one of our qualified representatives or hit the button below to receive a call. 


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Topics: ACL surgery