The Orthopedic Blog

What are Potential Problems with ACL Surgery

Posted on Tue, Oct 15, 2013 @ 09:10 AM

What are Potential Problems with ACL Surgery

Surgeries for ACL injuries often involve reconstructing and repairing of the ligaments. Reconstruction surgery utilizes a graft to replace the damaged ligament, and commonly used grafts include kneecap and hamstring tendons as well as allograft from deceased donors. Surgeries that entail repair work are normally for avulsion fractures. Avulsion fractures mean that the ACL and a piece of bone are separated from the core bone.

ACL surgery
Severe problems with ACL surgery hardly occur, but there are certain complications from time to time after surgery or during rehabilitation.

ACL Surgery: Complications

In general, ACL surgical interventions are safe, but patients may face a few complications such as the following:

1. Issues related to surgery itself (bear in mind that these issues are infrequent)

- Infection in incisions
- Numbness surrounding scar area
- Damage to nerves, blood vessels, or structures in and around the knee joint
- Blood clots in the patient’s knee and/or leg
- Normal risks of anesthesia

2. Patients may face issues with the graft, such as scar tissue re-injury, stretching, or loosening, which are caused by screws used to connect the graft tendon to their leg bones. If the issue worsens, the doctor may remove the screws and conduct further repair.

3. One of the problems with ACL surgery is patients may have limited range of motion. For example, patients are unable to fully extend or bend their injured leg as far as the other leg. This is an uncommon problem, but if it happens, the surgeon may carry out another ACL surgery or manipulation to rectify the problem.

4. After surgery and rehabilitation, patients may experience severe pain while kneeling. The pain often occurs in areas where the graft was taken out to replace the torn ligament.

Problems with ACL surgery are uncommon, but if they do occur, patients should know that highly experienced surgeons would do everything they can to rectify the issues that do crop up.

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Topics: problems with acl surgery