What You Should Know about ACL Reconstruction

What You Should Know about ACL Reconstruction

What You Should Know about ACL Reconstruction

Have you recently suffered from an injury to your knee?  Are you concerned that you tore your ACL?  The ACL, or the anterior cruciate ligament, passes through the middle of your knee, attaching your shin bone to your thigh bone.  This ligament is responsible for the stability of the knee, which makes it one of the most injured ligaments in the body.  In fact, over 200,000 ACLs are injured each year, keeping our orthopedic surgeon in Deland busy all year long.  When you injure your ACL, you may be a candidate for ACL reconstructive surgery.  These are a few things you need to understand about ACL reconstruction and how to prepare for it.

What is your ACL?

The ACL is the strongest ligament in your knee, providing stability that allows you to move comfortably without tripping or falling.  Tears and ruptures of the ACL are the most common injury to this area, and they often occur in athletes.  Athletes that play sports like basketball, skiing, football, or gymnastics are prone to these injuries because of the rapid stopping and jumping that is required in these sports.  These actions most commonly cause tears or ruptures in the ligament.

What happens when you injure your ACL?

Many people that injure their ACL will not require surgery, as rest, ice, compression, and elevation will likely take care of any pain or swelling.  However, these are only when minor issues occur.  Those who suffer from severe injury to their ACL may require reconstructive surgery to repair the issue.  Orthopedic surgeons may recommend surgery if the patient has significant pain, does not have mobility, or suffer from more extensive injuries to the knee region.

How do you prepare for the surgery?

To prepare for the surgery, you will likely engage in physical therapy for a few weeks to prepare the knee area.  These exercises will strengthen the muscles around the knee, reduce swelling, and place you in a more successful position for the surgery.  You may also want to prepare your life for some relaxation by having a support person in place for the days or weeks after the surgery.

What occurs during the surgery?

ACL reconstructions are often outpatient procedures, which means that you will not have to stay overnight for these surgeries.  Often, these surgeries are performed arthroscopically, by minimizing the incision needed to repair the issue.  Typically, a small incision will be made in the knee to insert a camera into the area.  This provides the surgeon with the visibility they need to remove the damaged part of the knee and replace it with another tendon, either from your kneecap, hamstring, or donor.

These are a few questions that you should understand about the process of ACL reconstruction and what you should expect from this procedure.  When you are worried about pain or injury of your ACL, you should contact an orthopedic surgeon in Deland.  Contact Florida Bone and Joint to schedule your consultation today.