Anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction requires a knee specialist such as Mr Jamil. The operation is usually done arthroscopically (keyhole) and may be done in combination with other procedures if necessary.
During surgery the remaining fibres of the torn ACL are removed and replaced with a new ligament (the graft) which is made of tissue taken from around the knee. There are two common graft types used to reconstruct the ACL:
- the hamstring tendons
- the patella tendon.
The choice of graft will often depend upon the activity level and the occupation of the individual with the results for each type of graft being comparable. Most patients will have a reconstruction using two of the four hamstring tendons normally situated behind the thigh and knee. The tendons are fashioned and then fixed into the knee. The graft is placed in the centre of the knee in the position of where the torn original ligament was.
Following the operation the patient goes home the same day or the following day, walking on crutches and starts physiotherapy immediately according to Mr Jamils’ specific, post operative physiotherapy protocol. The physiotherapy regime lasts between 4 and 9 months dependent on progress and is a very important part of the whole procedure. Failure to comply with the post operative physiotherapy rehabilitation program can result in failure of the procedure. However, ACL reconstruction is very successful in the majority of patients.