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ACL reconstruction is surgery to replace a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) — a major ligament in your knee. ACL injuries most commonly occur during sports that involve sudden stops and changes in direction — such as basketball, soccer, football, judo, downhill skiing and gymnastics.

In ACL reconstruction, the torn ligament is replaced with a piece of tendon from another part of your knee or from a deceased donor. This surgery is an outpatient procedure that’s performed through small incisions around your knee joint.

ACL reconstruction is performed by a doctor who specializes in surgical procedures of the bones and joints (orthopedic surgeon).

ACL reconstruction is generally recommended if:

  • You’re young (though other factors, such as activity level and knee instability, are more important than age) (Under 50 years old)
  • You’re an athlete and want to continue in your sport, especially if the sport involves jumping, cutting or pivoting
  • More than one ligament or the meniscus in your knee is injured
  • The injury is causing your knee to buckle during everyday activities
  • Repeated pain and swelling

New Techniques in ACL Surgery

We can apply ACL augmentation in case of partial ACL tear. A partially injured ACL cannot provide knee stability. In these patients, surgery was not performed or the entire ligament was cleaned and new ligament was placed. However, it has been understood in the last 10 years that the preservation of the original piece is very important. (Video ACL 01)

Remnant protective surgery (All intact part of original ligament is valuable. The remnant of injured ACL plays a very positive role in the healing of the new ligament. So, we’re protecting these pieces. During the reconstruction surgery) (Video ACL 02)

ACL reconstruction with meniscal repair (Protecting the viable meniscus tissue is very important in cases where ACL tear is accompanied by meniscus tear, especially for young patients).  (Video ACL 03)

After Arthroscopic ACL Surgery

After recovering from anesthesia, you can go home the same day or a day after surgery.

  • Your doctor will give you specific instructions on how to control swelling and pain after surgery. In general, it’s important to keep your leg elevated, apply ice to your knee and rest as much as possible.
  • Medications to help with pain relief.
  • Follow your surgeon’s advice on when to ice your knee, how long to use crutches and when it’s safe to bear weight on your knee. You’ll also be instructed when you can shower or bathe, when you should change dressings on the wound, and how to manage post-surgery care.
  • Progressive physical therapy after ACL surgery helps to strengthen the muscles around your knee and improve flexibility. A physical therapist will teach you how to do exercises that you will perform either with continued supervision or at home. Following the rehabilitation plan is important for proper healing and achieving the best possible outcomes.

Successful ACL reconstruction paired with focused rehabilitation can usually restore stability and function to your knee. Within the first few weeks after surgery, you should strive to regain a range of motion equal to that of your opposite knee.

Return to sporting activity is possible after 6 months to 9 months

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