At Cedars-Sinai Marina del Rey Hospital, our doctors are well trained and equipped with the latest technology and surgery techniques to ensure that your procedure will run as smoothly and as safely as possible.
ACL injuries mostly happen to people who play sports. If the ligament is strained, it can usually be healed just with medication and physical therapy. If it is completely torn, the only way to regain the former athletic abilities is through ACL reconstructive surgery.
The Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) is connected from the base of the femur to the top of the tibia. Its role is to prevent the knee from moving forward and backward or twisting excessively. A forceful or extremely sudden movement can completely tear the ligament. The ACL cannot regenerate, so surgery might be required to stop constant pain and regain mobility.
ACL reconstructive surgery will replace the torn ligament with a new one so it can regenerate and the patient can regain normal movement in the knee.
The patient is put under general anesthesia so he won’t feel any pain.
The surgeon will make multiple incisions around the knee, as this is arthroscopic surgery.
This means that he will insert small tools into to knee to perform the procedure.
A camera will be inserted so the doctor can monitor the movements closely.
He will start by removing the torn ligament from the knee.
Using a specialized tool, he will drill a hole in both the femur and the tibia.
After this, a small part of the tendon will be cut from the hamstring.
Next, through the holes, the tendon will be inserted to replace the ligament and it will be secured by an anchor and a bioabsorbable screw.
After this, the incisions are stitched together and the procedure is finished.
There are a number of benefits to getting ACL reconstructive surgery:
- The patient won’t have constant pain in the knee anymore
- The patient will be able to play sports again, even competitively
- The patient will regain his former mobility in the leg
- The patient’s day-to-day comfort will be significantly higher
As this is a minimally invasive surgical procedure, the recovery process is a fairly simple one. Usually, the patient will be able to leave home after the surgery the same day. Some mild painkillers will be prescribed to him. The patient will have to wear a brace around the knee for about 2 weeks and use crutches for at least 1 month. He will also have to participate in physical therapy sessions. The patient can resume playing sports freely 9 months after the operation.
As with any surgery, there are a few risks attached to this procedure. The patient might experience severe bleeding around the knee immediately after surgery. There is also a chance of developing an infection. In rare cases, the patient might experience extreme stiffness in the knee even after the recovery period, or he might begin to feel instability in the knee again. This means that the surgery has failed and he needs another one.