Knee ligament reconstruction is a surgery that is performed for replacing an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) that may have been damaged or torn. ACL is one of the main ligaments of the knee. This tough tissue band joins the thigh bone with the shin bone at your knee joint. The ligament provides stability to the knee joint and also controls the back and forth movement of your lower legs. An injury in the ACL tends to occur most commonly during sport activities like football, tennis, basketball, soccer, gymnastics, etc, which involves stopping abruptly or changing directions.
In a knee ligament construction surgery, the affected ligament needs to be removed and replaced with a tendon from your other knee or from a deceased donor. It is performed by making small incisions around the knee joint.
A knee ligament reconstruction is recommended in the following cases:
You need to take certain pre-procedure preparations that you need to take before the surgery:
In most of the cases, general anaesthesia is used during the surgery, keeping you unconscious during the whole procedure. Small incisions are made; one is used for holding the arthroscope while the other cuts allow the surgical instruments to get access to the joint area of the knee.
The surgeon then removes the torn ligament, and replaces it with a tendon segment. A tendon is a tissue that is similar to a ligament, connecting the muscles to the bone. The replacement tissue is known as a graft. The tendon is generally taken from your other knee or a deceased donor. Sockets are then drilled into both the thigh bone and shin bone, so that the graft can be positioned accurately and then secured with fixation devices. This graft acts as scaffolding on which a new ligament tissue possibly grows.
Once you have recovered from the effects of anaesthesia, you will be able to go home on the same day. Wearing a splint or knee brace may is often recommended for protecting the graft that has been made. You can also practice walking with the help of crutches before you leave the hospital.
Follow the instructions regarding shower, bath and changing of the dressing given by the doctors. Adequate rest is important for a faster recovery. You can also apply ice in your knee after every 2 hours for duration of 20 minutes. A compression wrap around the knee can also prove to be beneficial. Also, lie down with the knees propped up on your pillows.
Physical therapy after the surgery will help in strengthening the muscles around your knees as well as improve flexibility. A physical therapist can help you with it.
Healing of the ligaments can be aided by some of the techniques which are based on the fact of maintaining an adequate flow of blood in the injured region. Some of them are such as:
Following the ACL reconstruction surgery, there are things that need to be done to assure a proper and complete recovery while taking some important precautions too.
The chances of the surgery that you have undergone to be a success depend on your age, general health condition and the proficiency of your doctors. There can be certain risks too that come with every surgical procedure. The risks or complications that may occur in a knee replacement surgery are:
Tearing of anterior cruciate ligament due to several leg injuries is followed by Knee Ligament Surgery. The overall recovery usually takes up to one year. Stitches are done for closure of the wound after the surgery which takes approximately 3 weeks to get dissolved. During this time, the wound needs to be cared for by following proper hygiene instructions under the supervision of a surgeon.
In case of torn ACL, walking is impaired. It is associated with several symptoms such as pain which may be severe in many cases, swelling, a popping sound coming from the injured knee, and instability of the knee. However, normal walking is quite possible when the knee inflammation subsides.
Follow the rehabilitation programme advised by your doctor for a faster recovery. Continue doing the exercises like bending, straightening and raising your leg. With time, these exercises can be increased or changed. After a few weeks, you may resume exercises like swimming or cycling, but refrain from activities that involve too much of twisting or jumping. A professional athlete can get back to sports after 8-12 months, providing enough time to the graft tissue to position itself securely in the knee. You will be able to resume driving in 2-3 weeks, depending on your condition. If your work involves going to an office, you can resume work in 2-3 weeks. If your profession involves manual labour, it may take you up to 3 months before you are able to return to work.
The cost of knee replacement surgery would be approximately Rs. 75,000 – Rs. 1,50,000.