ACL surgery is performed in the knee where ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) is found. It is a knee ligament that holds three major bones present in the knee; patella (kneecap), shinbone (tibia), and thighbone (femur). These are held together to form a knee joint. ACL is composed of fibrous connective tissue that plays a major role in providing stability to the knees. ACL surgery is performed to reconstruct or replace ACL, helping in rehabilitation that will allow pain-free movement and stability of knee joint.
ACL tears can commonly be found in people who are involved in sports that require complex knee movements. Patients are given physical therapy for almost 3 weeks before performing the surgery. And it is recommended to wear a knee-brace during pre-surgery period.
ACL injury surgery
After an ACL injury surgery, it is tough for the patient to get back to the normal life and perform activities. It requires sessions of rehabilitation and hence can last up to 6 months. The most challenging part of the recovery is the first 2 weeks right after the surgery. During this period, you will need to keep the incision clean and dry. After this, when you enter the 3rd week, your pain will start to reduce and you won’t need painkillers anymore and will be asked to wear an ace bandage to help with comfort and swelling. During this recovery period, you will stop using crutches and will start to put some weight on your knee with the support of knee brace. You will need this brace for about 6 weeks.
After the 1st month of the surgery, physiotherapy will be initiated in order to rehabilitate the knees. By the time, your body will regain the stability, balance and control after few months and eventually, you will return back to normal life activities. This whole recovery period can take up to six months or even longer.
TYPES OF ACL SURGERY
- Allograft reconstruction
- Autograft reconstruction
- Synthetic or artificial graft reconstruction
- Xenograft reconstruction
DOs & DON’Ts AFTER ACL SURGERY
- Always keep your knee straight
- Don’t put weight on the knee that has been operated
- Always wear knee braces. This will stabilize your knee and speed up recovery.
- Avoid activities like swimming, cycling, bending and stretching right after the surgery.
- Go for regular physiotherapy sessions