ACL Reconstruction Surgery
The operation is performed with you asleep (under general anaesthetic). The anaesthetist will put a drip into your arm and then give you medication to put you off to sleep. You will be given antibiotics to make infection less likely.
Once you are asleep and relaxed and cannot feel anything I will carefully examine your knee. If I confirm that your knee is unstable and that your ACL is torn the ACL reconstruction operation proceeds.
I will have discussed with you which graft I will be using for your operation. The appropriate graft will be ‘harvested’ through a small cut at the front of your knee.
The graft is then prepared for later insertion into your knee. My usual technique is to attach an endobutton (which acts as a grappling hook) to keep the graft in place. Occasionally other products are used where needed.
An arthroscopy of the knee is then performed. This allows me to check all of the joint lining surfaces in the knee, the menisci and the ligaments. Any ‘pathology’ or damage to these structures is addressed at this time. This includes smoothing of any cartilage flaps, microfracture of areas of cartilage damage and meniscal repair or menisectomy.
A hole is then drilled into the tibia which exits inside the knee just at spot that the ACL used to attach. This allows the new graft to take the place of the ligament which has torn. A drill hole is then made into the femur, again at the attachment point of the old ACL.
The new graft is fed through these 2 bone tunnels and then secured at bone ends. A drain is inserted into the knee, the wounds are carefully closed and local anaesthetic is injected to reduce your pain. You will wake up in the recovery room with bandages covering your whole leg.