What to Know and How to Prepare For an ACL Reconstruction
The anterior cruciate ligament is commonly abbreviated to ACL. This ligament is located within the knee joint, between the thigh bone and the shin bone. This ligament is primarily responsible for stabilizing the knee. in an ACL injury, the ligament most often is torn. This condition can cause the knees to buckle unexpectedly, or even prevent standing or walking altogether.
Who Gets ACL Injuries?
Although anyone can tear an ACL, this type of injury most often occurs during sports involving certain kinds of movement. The movements most likely to lead to a torn ACL include stopping suddenly, and/or suddenly reversing direction. As such sports most likely to lead to a torn ACL are soccer, football, tennis, basketball and even golf.
What is an ACL Reconstruction?
In an ACL reconstruction, done by orthopedic specialists, the ligament is reconstructed using tissue from your body or a donor. The torn tissue will be removed, then the surgeon will use the autograph tissue to reconstruct the ligament. This tissue is grafted onto the bone with screws where it will eventually become part of the new ligament. ACL reconstruction is widely accepted to be an effective treatment for a torn knee ligament, and most patients recover fully.
How to Prepare For an ACL Reconstruction?
When your orthopedic specialist has recommended ACL reconstruction, you’ll need to prepare for the procedure. You’ll need to do some physical therapy in order to reduce the internal swelling and inflammation as much as possible before surgery. Although you will likely be fully anesthetized for your ACL reconstruction surgery, the process can be painful when you wake up. You’ll need to prepare yourself for discomfort, since pain medication can only be taken on a limited basis.
You’ll also need help getting home from the hospital as well as when you’re at home recovering from the surgery. Be prepared to stay off the knee according to your doctor’s post-surgery instructions. Time off work will also be a necessity so plan ahead for that.
Although ACL reconstruction is major surgery, your chances for a complete recovery are very high. For a free consultation about your knee issues or ACL reconstruction, contact us today.