What is ACL ligament and how is it injured
Our knee has 2 bones – thigh bone and shin bone. The knee has 4 major ligaments. Ligaments are bands of tough, elastic connective tissue that give the joint stability and strength. Ligaments connect bones to each other. The 4 knee ligaments connect the thigh bone (femur) to the shin bone (tibia).
The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is one of the key ligaments that help stabilize the knee joint. ACL is the most commonly injured ligament in the knee. Young patients mostly have ACL injuries and are most prevalent in sportspeople. Football, basketball are some sports known to have high ACL injury rates.
Another common cause for ACL injury is road traffic accidents especially in a country like ours with so many two wheelers.
Problems with an injured knee. Why should it be reconstructed? When there is an ACL injury, your knee may swell, feel unstable and become too painful to bear weight. Patients will face difficulty in walking.
If medicines and medical support doesn’t help in 2-3 weeks, then MRI is recommended to detect ligament injury. If MRI shows ACL tear, we suggest Arthroscopy surgery, which is less invasive and allows patients to recover more quickly.
Many times patients say we are able to walk but still why surgery is required. When a ligament is broken, the knee’s movement is hampered which can lead to cartilage damage eventually leading to Arthritis.
ACL Reconstruction Technique
When an ACL ligament breaks, it doesn’t repair. It reconstructs using Arthroscopic surgery. ACL tears are not usually repaired using sutures (stitches) because repaired ACLs have generally been shown to fail over time.
So Arthroscopy surgery is required to relieve pain and difficulties and to prevent future possibilities of arthritis. Arthroscopy surgery is also called keyhole surgery and is a minimally invasive surgical procedure. Two small holes are made in the knee. From 1 hole , a camera is inserted and from 1 instrument is inserted. So it’s a natural surgery. The procedure uses a connective tissue graft to rebuild or replace the injured ACL.Tissue is taken from your own body to create ligament. Once blood supply comes, it becomes a natural ligament.
Post surgery , you can immediately walk with a stick and braces. Stick is for 1 week or so and braces go away within 2-3 weeks. Once ligament starts having normal blood flow, you can do everything like playing sports, go for jumping, hiking, rock climbing, So to prevent future arthritis, ligament reconstruction is necessary
Dr. Shekhar Srivastav heads the Orthopedics department at Sant Parmanand Hospital & is the leading Joint Replacement & Arthroscopic Surgeon in Delhi, India. Trained at some of the best centres in India & Abroad he has vast experience of treating problems of Knee & Shoulder joints. He has been an integral part of DITO, Sant Parmanand Hospital for more than 18+ years & with the legendary Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Shekhar Agarwal he has helped Sant Parmanand Hospital gain its present reputation & respectability.
He has treated thousands of patients with complex Orthopedics problems. He’s well known for performing Knee replacement surgeries (Total & Partial Knee replacement), Knee Arthroscopic Surgeries (ACL Injuries, Meniscus Injuries, Cartilage Damage) & Shoulder Surgeries (Arthroscopic Bankart Repair, Rotator Cuff Repair, Shoulder Replacements).