When and Why ACL surgery is required
Anterior cruciate ligament or ACL is a ligament in the knee having strong and fibrous connective tissues that play a vital role in stabilizing the knee. The knee joint has many ligaments connecting the thighbone, shinbone and kneecap that meet here. The knee bears the load of the entire upper body and hence comes under a lot of stress even in routine movements. However, injuries of the knee are quite frequent in sportsmen whose activities lay a lot of stress on their knee ligaments. Depending on the nature of the injury, the doctor may recommend ACL surgery if the damaged ligament needs to be reconstructed or replaced.
The different types of ACL surgery
The best way to heal any ACL injury is through reconstructive surgery wherein the damaged ACL is reconstructed or replaced by a connective tissue graft. The healing process might extend to a few months or more depending on the injury. Accordingly, there are different types of ACL surgery procedures for the doctor to reconstruct or replace a damaged ACL.
Allograft reconstruction: This surgery is done with a tendon sourced from a tissue bank. It is much less painful and requires only one incision but it carries the risk of infection as it is sourced from a tissue bank.
Artificial graft and Xenograft reconstruction: Artificial graft uses synthetic tissue while in Xenograft the tissue is sourced from animals. Both these procedures are not as reliable as allograft or autograft reconstruction and doctors don’t usually recommend them.
How is ACL reconstruction surgery performed?
In most ACL reconstruction surgery cases, doctors advise physical therapy for 3-4 weeks prior to the surgery. The objective of this pre-operative therapy is to ensure that the knee is not immobile at the time of surgery, due to stiffness or swelling. The surgery can’t be done in this condition as the post-operative recovery of the patient will be quite difficult if surgery is performed in this condition. Rest assured, Dr. Manit Arora will advise you to get the surgery done only when he feels that it will be good for you.