ACL reconstruction surgery is a procedure used to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), which is a strong band of tissue that connects the knee bones. The ACL ligament runs along the middle of the knee and connects the thigh bone to the shin bone. It provides your knee stability necessary for standing, walking, exercising, and playing sports.
What Causes the ACL to Tear?
The ACL can tear due to a sudden stop or forceful turn to switch direction, usually during high-intensity exercise or sports. A bad landing from a jump or a direct blow to the knee can also cause an ACL tear. People who play basketball, soccer, or football are at high risk of ACL injuries. For this reason, conditioning programs of such athletes should include strengthening exercises for the hips and thighs, which can help prevent ACL tears.
The problem with a torn ACL is that it is unable to repair itself, especially if fully torn. Immediately after the injury, there is significant swelling and instability and a loss of full range of motion. A doctor can identify a torn ACL by observing an increased forward movement of the tibia and diagnostic tests. Complete ACL tears most often require surgical intervention.
What Happens During Surgery
ACL reconstruction surgery involves the removal of the torn ligament and replacing it with a tendon that’s grafted from another part of your knee or leg. The patellar, hamstring, or quadriceps tendon may be used as well as a donor’s tendon. The surgeon will drill sockets into your thigh bone and shin bone and secure the grafted tendon in place using screws.
Orthopedic surgeons can now perform ACL reconstruction surgery with a minimally-invasive approach, making only very small incisions and using highly-advanced miniature tools and an arthroscope, which is a long and thin tube with a camera at the end. The result is a greater reduction of surgery complications, smaller scars, less healthy tissue disturbance, less pain for the patient, and faster recovery time.
Don’t Let an ACL Injury Stop You
A patient who has a very active lifestyle no doubt craves being physically active. If you have sustained an ACL injury, giving up the sport you love can bring you down, but if you continue playing, your performance will be severely diminished by the instability of your knee. ACL reconstruction surgery is recommended for patients who do not wish to give up playing sports. In the hands of a highly skilled orthopedic surgeon, you can get your knee back and return to your game safely.
Orthopedic Surgeon in St. Peters or O’Fallon, Missouri
The orthopedic surgeons at Advanced Bone & Joint provide comprehensive treatment to patients with knee injuries. We treat many patients with ACL injuries and are always committed to ensuring each one makes a full recovery. We also provide urgent care to patients with new injuries. Our orthopedic urgent care services are also available via teleconference.
For questions or if you wish to request an appointment with any of our orthopedic doctors, call (636) 229-4222 or use our convenient online form.