The knee is the largest joint in the body and sadly is easy to injured. The knee has 4 major ligaments, the most common injured one is the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). It is located toward the front of the knee. The ACL is often stretched and/or torn during a sudden twisting motion (when the feet stay planted one way, but the knees turn the other way). Skiing, soccer, basketball, and football are sports that have a higher risk of ACL injuries. It has been said that between 100 000 and 300 000 ACL reconstructions are performed every year in the United States.
ACL controls rotation and forward movements. Often people hear or feel a “pop” in the knee when an ACL injury occurs. The knee may swell, feel unstable and become too painful to bear weight. Depending on the severity, treatment may include rest and rehabilitation exercises or surgery to replace the torn ligament followed by rehabilitation. ACL reconstruction surgery uses a graft to replace the ligament. The most common grafts are autografts using part of your own body, such as hamstring tendon. Other types of grafts might be used like allografts (from a cadaver), xenografts (from different species) or synthetic ones. There are other types of surgery like: open surgery, techniques like intra vs extra articular reconstruction among others, single vs double bundle. Orthopedic surgeons have several factors to take into account when choosing the appropriate graft for ACL reconstruction. Consult with our Dr which one will be the best option for you.
Like we mentioned, Arthroscopic surgery is the most common form of surgery for the repair. Done by making small incisions in the knee and inserting instruments for surgery through these incisions. The goals of reconstructive surgery are to restore stability and to maintain full active ROM. The functional stability provided by the normal ACL is both in resisting anteroposterior translation as well as rotational subluxation. Also consult with your surgeon your rehab options. Therapy is typically broken down into stages (or phases) of activity, with goals for each stage. It takes time to heal properly, don’t get frustrated neither, nor tried doing too much too fast or even too little. This is very basic info, get inform before any procedure and look at your options.
Here a simple animation so you can have and idea. https://orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/treatment/acl-reconstruction-animation/
Pic: Anna Auza, Unsplash