ACL Tear Surgery and Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction

ACL Tear Reconstruction Surgery is a procedure that reconstructs the anterior cruciate ligament of the knee when it has been completely torn. Most ACL tears cannot simply be stitched back together. In order to restore knee stability, the ligament must be reconstructed. During ACL tear surgery or anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction, your doctor will replace your torn ligament with a tissue graft which will, in turn, act as a scaffold on which the new ACL ligament will grow. Since the new ligament takes time to re-grow, it may be six months or more before an athlete can return to sports after injury.

Arthroscopic ACL Reconstruction Surgery

The surgical procedure of choice for ACL reconstruction is called arthroscopy, a minimally invasive technique that makes small incisions in the knee, instead of a much larger incision of traditional open surgery. An arthroscope is a pencil-thin tube specially designed to go into joints. It consists of a system of lenses, a light and a small video camera. The surgeon inserts it into one of the small incisions and then inserts special, thin surgical tools into the other small incisions. The surgeon is guided through the surgery by the real-time images of the little camera. The torn ligament is removed along with any harmful debris such as bone or cartilage chips. The surgeon then replaces the torn ligament with the tissue graft.

Arthroscopic surgery has many benefits for patients, including:

  • Less invasive
  • Less pain from surgery
  • Less time spent in the hospital
  • Quicker recovery time
  • Faster return to regular activities

The multidisciplinary team of orthopaedic experts at North Shore-LIJ Orthopaedic Institute's Joint Replacement Services in New York performs ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) tear reconstruction surgery as well as a broad range of nonsurgical and surgical treatments for conditions that affects the bones, joints, connective tissues, tendons and ligaments.

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