Arthroscopic ACL Reconstruction

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Arthroscopic ACL Reconstruction

ACL reconstruction surgery involves replacing a torn anterior cruciate ligament with graft tissue from around the knee. If other structures in the knee have also been damaged at the time of injury, such as the meniscus, they are also repaired at the same time.

In many cases, surgery can be avoided after ACL injuries by working on an intensive rehabilitation programme. However, if there is persistent pain and instability, or for high-level athletes, ACL surgery is advised. The ACL is the key stabilising ligament of the knee and is most commonly damaged when the knee is excessively twisted or pushed too far backwards.

What Happens During ACL Surgery

ACL reconstruction surgery is usually carried out arthroscopically (keyhole surgery) under general anaesthetic and takes approximately 1-2 hours. 3 very small incisions (cuts) are made around the front of the knee.

A flexible camera with a light (an arthroscope) is placed through one hole which sends images through the fibre optic cables to a TV monitor in the operating room.

The knee is examined to confirm the diagnosis of a ligament tear and to look for any cartilage damage. Saline fluid is pumped into the joint to wash out any blood and debris and to expand the knee so the surgeon has a better view of the joint.

Medical instruments are inserted into the knee which have the necessary tools attached to them to carry out the operation. Tunnels are drilled into the thigh and shin bones (femur and tibia) ready for the new graft.


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