Anterior cruciate ligament, or ACL, reconstructive surgery, meniscus transplant and unicompartmental knee replacement are all intensive knee surgeries. The surgeries are all replacement procedures and require a significant recovery time, according to SymptomFind.
ACL reconstructive surgery uses a graft, usually from another part of the body, to replace the ligament, explains WebMD. The most common grafts are from the tendon of the kneecap or from one of the hamstring tendons, but surgeons sometimes use allograft tissue from a deceased donor. The surgery is generally used when a separation occurs between the ligament and a piece of the bone from the rest of the bone.
A meniscus transplant is necessary after a patient has already had nearly all of the meniscus cartilage removed from the knee due to a severe meniscus tear, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. The meniscus is removed via arthroscopic surgery, and the meniscus' replacement is an allograft taken from a cadaver.
Unicompartmental knee replacement is a partial knee replacement that is an option for a small percentage of patients with osteoarthritis of the knee, states the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. The knee is divided into three separate compartments, so only the damaged compartment of the knee is replaced. The advantages of a unicompartmental knee replacement over a full knee replacement are quicker recovery, less pain after surgery and less blood loss.