ligament reconstruction

Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction

What is it?
This procedure is performed for symptomatic knee instability. In other words, since tearing the ligament, your knee has continued to give way despite physiotherapy and trying to build up the muscles around the knee.

Do I have to have it done?
Not everyone with a ruptured ligament needs to have it reconstructed. Some people manage without it, others modify their activities or wear a brace.

What is it reconstructed with?
Usually Mr Waters will use your own hamstring tendon which is conveniently situated around the knee. This does not cause any long -term hamstring problems and works very well indeed. Occasionally he will use an “allograft” – this is a human tissue that has been treated so there is no fear of infection or rejection.

What will actually happen?
This is usually performed arthroscopically-assisted. There is one scar about 2cm long for retrieving the tendon just below the knee. The other two wounds are just little stab incisions.
Most patients stay in for one night following surgery.  The procedure takes between 30 to 60 minutes.

What happens after the operation?
There is quite an intense rehabilitation regime following the procedure. (A copy is available here). The physiotherapist will see you and make sure that you are safe on crutches which you will need just for the first couple of weeks. The physiotherapy will continue over the next six months before competitive sport can be recommenced.

How long will I need off work?
This is variable and depends really on the nature of your work. For most people employed in desk jobs it will mean around 2 weeks off. If you perform a more manual job it may mean up to six weeks. You can usually drive at 2 weeks.

Any more questions?
Please contact us if you have any other questions about this or any other procedure.