Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction surgery rebuilds the ligament in the center of the knee with a new ligament. The ACL keeps the shinbone (tibia) in place. A tear of this ligament can cause the knee to give way during physical activity.
The tissue that will replace your damaged ACL will come from your own body or from a donor. Tissue taken from your own body is called an autograft. Tissue taken from a donor is called an allograft.
The two most common sources of tissue the kneecap tendon or the hamstring tendon. Your hamstring is the muscle behind your knee.
The procedure is usually done by knee arthroscopy. With arthroscopy, a tiny camera is inserted into the knee through a small surgical cut. The camera is connected to a video monitor in the operating room. Your surgeon will use the camera to check the ligaments and other tissues of your knee.
Why the Procedure is Performed
Not treating a torn ACL can lead to tissue damage and early arthritis. ACL reconstruction may be recommended for these knee problems:
- Knee that gives way or feels unstable during daily activities
- Knee pain
- Inability to continue playing sports or other activities
- When other ligaments are also injured
Before choosing to have this surgery, you should understand the time and effort it will take for you to recover. You will need to stick to a program for four to six months before you can return to full activity. The success of the surgery depends on how well you stick with your rehabilitation program.