The Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) in the knee is very important for keeping it stable. The ligament is very important for keeping the knee stable. This ligament joins the upper leg and lower leg bones to each other. There are chances of an injury in the anterior cruciate ligament while over-straightening of your knee, bending or twisting it, landing down incorrectly after a jump or while playing football. Women are more susceptible for contracting anterior cruciate ligament injury. ACL Surgeries are ideally done by orthopedic surgeons.
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The surgery commences with the patient getting a spinal or general anesthetic injected. Further, the surgeon makes small incisions in and around the knee for subsequently inserting instruments inside for operating it. Saline solution is then introduced inside the knee for expanding it. This gives a clearer view of the insides of the knee to the operating surgeon. An arthroscope is inserted into the incision which gives pictures of the knees for examination purposes. The surgeon then does grafting of different tissues from different regions in the body to carry out ACL surgery. Part of hamstring or quadriceps or patellar tendons are taken out for grafting. The tissues at times are also taken from donors. The graft tissue which is taken out is fit to size and then fit into the knee, fixing it to the femur and shin-bone. The graft issue is positioned with staples or screws that remain inside the knee permanently.
After this, the surgeon checks the strength of the graft to see whether it is strong enough to hold your knee together. The graft should remain stable even when the knee is bent or moved. Post this, the incisions are stitched up. The patient is then moved to the hospital ward for further recovery. The surgeon provides the patient with an ice water bandage to reduce swelling. The physiotherapist creates a detailed recovery programme for the patient for speedy and successful return to normal life. It is very important that the patient follows it meticulously.
The program may contain stipulated exercises for improving life of the operated knee. The exercises facilitate improving your balance, strengthening the leg muscles and overall ability to walk properly. Again, the operated knee is likely to remain stiff for a few weeks; pain-killers then become a necessity. Patients need to maintain their legs in a raised position while resting. The patient may also need to move around with the help of crutches for 2 weeks post surgery. The period you will take for returning to your work-life depends on the intensity of work you have. For instance, if you have a desk job, then the period is 2 weeks, similarly if it is manual work, then the cooling off period is of 6 months.