How is ACL Reconstruction Done?

bigstock--146630855Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction is performed to replace a damaged ACL—one of the four major ligaments that help stabilize the knee joint. Along with the posterior cruciate ligament (PCL), the ACL runs diagonally across the knee and provides rotational joint strength during turning and twisting motions. When the ACL is torn, reconstruction surgery may be recommended to restore stability and range of motion in the knee.

During ACL reconstruction surgery, the surgeon removes the damaged ligament and replaces it with a piece of tendon harvested from elsewhere in the patient’s body or from a deceased donor. This replacement tendon is known as a graft. In most cases, the graft is taken from the patient’s hamstring, kneecap area, or quadriceps.

After the damaged ACL is removed, the surgeon will drill holes into the ends of the shinbone and thighbone and use specially designed screws to secure the graft within the knee. Other parts of the knee joint—such as the menisci, bone, or cartilage—may also be repaired during surgery.

ACL reconstruction surgery is an outpatient procedure that usually does not require an overnight hospital stay. However, it is done under general anesthesia, and the patient should have a friend or family member drive them home afterward. Additionally, ACL reconstruction can sometimes be performed using a minimally invasive, arthroscopic approach that allows for a more streamlined recovery period when compared to traditional open surgery.

When is ACL Reconstruction Recommended?

ACL reconstruction is not appropriate for everyone. Sometimes, a partially torn ACL can be addressed through conservative measures, such as physical therapy, or with ACL repair surgery.

Generally speaking, ACL reconstruction surgery may be recommended if you:

  • Play a sport or are physically active on a regular basis
  • Have a torn meniscus as well as a torn ACL
  • Have multiple damaged knee ligaments
  • Experience knee buckling or pain during basic movements, such as walking or standing from a seated position
  • Are otherwise healthy and do not have joint health issues

ACL Reconstruction Surgery at Tampa Orthopaedic & Sports Medicine Group

ACL reconstruction surgery is one of Dr. Daniel Murphy’s specialties. A board-certified orthopedic sports medicine surgeon at Tampa Orthopaedic & Sports Medicine Group, Dr. Murphy utilizes the latest advancements in minimally invasive, muscle-sparing arthroscopic techniques to achieve optimal results with less post-operative discomfort for his patients. Dr. Murphy also collaborates with Dr. Arnold Ramirez, a board-certified sports medicine specialist who excels in maximizing athletic performance through progressive, personalized treatment. Together, Dr. Murphy and Dr. Ramirez care for our area’s finest professional athletes on the medical staffs of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the New York Yankees.

Find relief from knee pain and get back in the game with Tampa Orthopaedic & Sports Medicine Group. Contact our center in South Tampa today to schedule a consultation with a specialist on our team, or request an appointment online when it’s convenient for you. We’re here to answer any questions you may have.