Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction Surgery
An ACL tear is the most common injury in most sports. It is also the only ligament that requires surgery in almost 100% of athletes. Studies show that ACL surgery leads to quicker, healthier recoveries and also leads to less occurrences of osteoarthritis down the road. Today, ACL reconstruction is usually done arthroscopically, meaning the surgeon uses a tiny camera attached to a cable which he can guide through the leg to see the inside. This is much better than cutting the leg open completely as was done during early ACL surgeries; there is less trauma from arthroscopic surgery. The following is the general procedure for and ACL reconstruction surgery:
1) The surgeon inspects the knee and removes the remains of the old ACL using a arthroscopic shaver.
2) The graft which is used for reconstruction is harvested arthroscopically and prepared for the replacement. Usually the patellar tendon or the semitendonosis and gracilis tendon autografts are used in athletes.
3) After harvesting the tissue, a hole is drilled from the front of the tibia diagonally into the knee and ends up where the ACL attaches to the top of the shin. Next, the sugeon drills a hole in the femur between the two heads running diagonally and up from the middle to the outside.
4) The harvested replacement is attached to two long sutures, attached to the drill bit, and pulled into place through the holes which were just drilled. |
5) The new ligament is then held into place by two bioabsorbable screws or metallic screws.
6) The knee is checked for stability and the surgeon carries out any other repairs.
the surgery, the patient endures between 6 and 9 months of rehabilitation
before they can resume their respective sport at their full potential.
This rehabilitation is crucial so that the grafts does not fail
and to strengthen the areas surrounding the graft.
http://www.staehelin.ch/ait/aitacl.html - Step By Step picture book of ACL reconstruction surgery