An Overview of Anterior Cruciate Ligament Surgery

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( — October 19, 2017) — The anterior cruciate ligament injury of the knee is very common amongst people who regularly play high-intensity sports such as football, basketball, soccer, skiing etc. Most of the ACL injuries occur in combination with damage to the articular cartilage, meniscus, or other ligaments. An MRI scan may show any damage to the bone situated beneath the surface of the cartilage. The cost of ACL tear surgery in India varies from Rs. 75,000 to Rs. 2,00,000 depending on the type of procedure, surgeon, quality of graft etc. It is convenient to book affordable surgery packages online. All the details regarding hospitals, doctors, type of procedure and cost involved are available online. Various packages can be compared and selected as per the requirement.

ACL surgery refers to the reconstruction of the ligament in the center of the knee. The ACL connects the thigh bone to the shin bone of the leg and any injury to the ACL during physical activity will cause severe damage to the knees. A slightly moderate ligament injury may heal on its own in a few weeks. The doctor recommends surgery for ACL tear if the damage is severe and the patient wants to resume his sporting activities as before or aged patients who have previously been excluded from consideration of ACL surgery. Surgery in children and adolescents with ACL tear may create the risk of growth plate injury which leads to growth problems in bones, in such cases, the surgeon delays the treatment till the child attains physical bone growth maturity.

The surgery is pain-free and the patient is asleep as he is given general anaesthesia right before the surgery. The operation is performed to replace the damaged ACL with new tissue either taken from the patient’s own body or from a donor. If the tissue is taken from the patient’s own body, it is known as an autograft and if taken from a donor then it is called as an allograft. The different types of autograft taken are:

  • Kneecap tendon autograft
  • Hamstring tendon autograft
  • Quadriceps tendon autograft
  • Patellar tendon autograft

The surgeon uses a minute camera to check the ligaments and other tissues of the knee; this is commonly known as knee arthroscopy. The damaged ligament is replaced by the new tissue through this procedure. This is done by making small cuts around the knee area and inserting medical instruments through these cuts. If an autograft is taken then the surgeon makes small channels in the bone to take the new tissue. The new tissue will replace the damaged ACL. The new ligament will be attached to the bone with devices to hold it in its proper place. As the injury heals, the channels made in the bone will fill in. The entire area is covered with stitches and dressing.

It is not difficult to determine if there’s a ligament tear in the knee. The following symptoms will follow:

  • Severe pain
  • Swelling within a few hours of the injury
  • Unable to put any weight on the joint and severe pain while doing so.
  • A feeling of looseness in the joint

The doctor will diagnose the severity of the injury through an X-ray and physical exam. An MRI will also be conducted to check if there’s more damage to the nearby tissues or any ligament injuries.