Knee Reconstruction – A Guide to Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction

Knee reconstruction which is medically known as ACL or anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction is a process of surgically grafting and replacing torn knee ligaments. This is a minimally invasive clinical procedure with a very high success rate.

Knee Reconstruction – Painless Ligament Replacement

Arthroscopic surgery or knee reconstruction is a clinical procedure to heal torn ligaments. First a ligament is grafted out of a human body. There are two types of grafting procedures to extract ligaments – autograft and allograft. In the former scenario the patient is the donor of the ligament. In the case of the latter however the tendon is extracted from a donor body. Both types of procedures have some pros and cons. Recovery is painfully slow in autografts as the patient now had to deal with another scar. Hence many practitioners prefer allograph because patients recover quickly. But tendon is taken from a donor corpse and the chance of infection is much higher. This is why the tendons go through severe sterilization processes. After the grafts have been taken out an arthroscopic procedure is conducted by punching a hole in the knee to retrieve the affected ligament and to implant the grafted healthy ligament in its place. Knee reconstruction happens with local anesthesia.

Knee Operation – Graft-Tendon Types

In an ACL procedure there are usually two types of tendons which are grafted for replacement. The patellar tendon which connects the tibia with the patella is taken out of the injured knee. Although doctors prefer patellar tendon they admit that this type of grafting causes extensive wounds and also the procedure carries with it a risk of patella fracture while cultivating the tendon. However still, patellar tendon is a better choice than hamstrings. Hamstring implantations delay recovery after knee operation because post surgery issues like hamstring slippages, stiff knees are major hindrances. Also the patients are made to wear braces which restrict normal movements. For faster recovery post knee operation patients can opt for patellar and hamstring tendons harvested from a donor.

Knee Pain Treatment – Recovery Care

Post surgery knee pain treatment commences with simple range of motion exercises under the scrutiny of physical therapist. The chief aim of these exercises is to rejuvenate the ligaments and increase flexibility. Some isometric exercises improve muscle tone and prevent scarring. CPM device known as Continuous Passive Motion is often given to patients to facilitate the recovery process. After twelve weeks when the healing is complete aggressive training may resume as the knee is in a better position to cope with strain. Stretch exercises and jogging are introduced during this time. However after the recovery process is complete some tests are conducted to confirm fitness.

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