How Is an ACL Reconstruction Performed?


Quick Answer

To perform an anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction, the surgeon makes about two or three incisions around the knee and then pumps saline solution into it through one of the incisions to clean blood from the area and expand the hole, explains WebMD. The surgeon then inserts an arthroscope into one of the other incisions and surgical drills through the remaining one. Small holes are then drilled into the lower and upper leg bones where they come close at knee joint.

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Full Answer

The surgeon makes another incision in the knee, where the replacement tissue is to be taken from, explains WebMD. This is known as a graft. It is pulled through the two tunnels that were previously drilled in the lower and upper leg bones, before securing it with hardware such as staples or screws. The surgeon closes the incisions using tape or stitches and bandages the knee. The patient is taken to a recovery room for about two to three hours.

Anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction may be used for knee problems such as knee pain, inability to continue with activities such as sports, knee that feels unstable during daily activities and when ligaments are injured, explains MedlinePlus. The tissue used for replacement may come from the patient’s body or from a donor.

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