A torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is a severe knee injury, especially for athletes. Many adolescents with a torn knee ligament will require surgery to fix it.
What’s ACL Reconstruction?
A torn ACL generally is treated with a process known as an ACL reconstruction. When you get surgery with a Saratoga Springs orthopedic surgeon, they will replace the fascia with new graft tissue — taken from the patient’s own body (tissue from the chief patellar tendon or the hamstring) or donated from someone else (known as an allograft).
How Is ACL Reconstruction Done?
Many reconstruction surgeries are done under general anesthesia. That means you’ll be asleep during the operation and not feel anything. The operation usually takes 2 to two 1/2 hours, and you won’t have to remain in the hospital immediately.
To do the reconstruction, the surgeon will drill bone tunnels into the tibia and the femur, remove the torn ligament, then put the graft in roughly the same position.
What Happens Following Your Surgery in Saratoga Springs?
After the surgery, you will go home with a large bandage covering the knee, a knee brace, crutches, and, maybe, a cold treatment device (a kind of constant cold package that wraps around the knee). You will use the crutches to get around to not place too much weight on your leg in the first week.
What’s Recovery Like?
Physical treatment is an important part of your recovery. You will start PT about a week after surgery and continue for the next few months. The physical therapist can allow you to put more and more weight on your leg until you do not need the crutches anymore.
You also might use a CPM (continuous passive motion) machine that gradually bends your knee back and forth. This makes it possible to get back in the habit of moving your knee.
When your thigh muscles recover their strength (usually about two to three weeks after the operation), you will have the ability to stop wearing the knee brace.
When Can I Get Back to Normal Activities?
Most ACL reconstruction surgeries in Saratoga Springs are effective at stabilizing the knee and restoring the fascia’s operation. Patients usually can return to sports and other activities about nine months after the operation.
If you return to football or other sports, the surgeon will fit you with a functional ACL brace to wear during practices and games.
Advanced Sports and Orthopedics performs several ACL surgeries in Saratoga Springs. Contact them for an initial knee consultation today.