An ACL reconstruction may be recommended if you have been diagnosed with an ACL rupture and have persistent knee instability and giving way symptoms despite physiotherapy. It may also be recommended if you regularly take part in activities that require pivoting on the knee. This is because if your knee repeatedly gives way because of the ACL deficiency, then you risk damaging other parts of your knee which can affect your long term knee health.

 

An ACL reconstruction involves taking some tendons or part of a tendon from elsewhere around your knee and using it to create a new ligament. Using some of your bodys structures in this way is called grafting. There are several options for where this tendon graft is taken from or harvested. A common graft used for ACL reconstruction is a hamstring graft, where two of the hamstring tendons are taken and folded over to form a new ligament. This graft is then passed through a bone tunnel created in the shin bone, passed across the knee joint where the ACL is normally positioned, and then passed through another bone tunnel created in the thigh bone. The graft is then secured to the bone using a suture device and a screw. Knee arthroscopy (key hole knee surgery) is used to create the bone tunnels and to ensure that the position of the bone tunnels and ACL graft matches as closely as possible your natural ACL position.

Mr Craik offers private ACL reconstruction surgery at Ashtead Hospital in Surrey. The procedure is usually performed as a day case whereby you will go home on the same day after your surgery. 

 

The recovery following ACL reconstruction takes around 9 months. This is because it takes 9 months for the graft to bond to the bone before return to full pre-injury activities can resume. However immediately following isolated ACL reconstruction surgery, patients will typically be allowed to fully weight bear and will be permitted to have a full range of movement of the knee. You may be off work for between 2 to 4 weeks depending on your usual activities. A dedicated physiotherapy rehabilitation programme will begin immediately following your surgery. At 3 months you will be able to start running, but only in a straight line. Pivoting on your knee or taking part in competitive sporting activities is not recommended until 9 months after your ACL reconstruction procedure.