The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is a tissue located on the knee. It joins the femur to the tibia, helping us to walk correctly. However, sometimes there could be a partial or complete tear in the ACL. In that case, an orthopedic surgeon may recommend ACL surgery to replace the torn ligament with a tissue that acts as the natural ACL.

ACL reconstruction surgery is often a minimally invasive procedure where the doctor inserts tools and a small camera via a tiny incision. This way, they can see the inside of your joint and repair the problem in the ACL.

Do You Need ACL Surgery?

Whether you need surgery on the ACL surgery, depends on how severe the tear is and your lifestyle. Sometimes tears in the ACL can heal on their own, but you will need intervention if your ACL is completely torn. 

The doctor will conduct several tests to determine whether your tear is partial or complete. These include the Lachman test, where the physician pulls the shin bone from the thigh bone to observe the movement of these bones in the ACL. The other test is called the pivot shift test, where the doctor lifts your leg and puts rotational pressure on your knees to see if your bones move. 

Surgery is usually not recommended for patients with a partial tear unless the ligament doesn’t heal on its own. But people with a completely torn ACL or those leading an active lifestyle, like athletes, will need surgery to repair their ACL and avoid injuries in the future.

If you are older or your lifestyle doesn’t include rigorous exercise, non-surgical treatments can help heal the ACL and return it to normal.

When Can I Get ACL Surgery? 

ACL reconstruction surgery is usually scheduled between 3 to 6 weeks after the injury. This period allows the swelling in the ACL to reduce. If surgery is done too early, a patient can develop arthrofibrosis, a scarring response.

Your orthopedic will decide the right time for the surgery depending on your pain level, motion range, muscle control quality when bending or strengthening the leg, the knee’s physical appearance, and whether you have other injuries that need to be treated first.

However, taking too much time to perform the surgery can also affect one negatively as it reduces the chances of having a successful outcome, and you may need more revision surgeries in the future.

Visit an ACL Reconstruction Surgery in Singapore

Orthofoot MD has well-trained orthopedics that’ll advise and conduct the right treatment on your knee. Please book an appointment today if you suspect you have an injury on your ACL.

How long does it take to recover?

ACL Surgery is an outpatient procedure where patients go home on the same day of their surgery. The recovery time varies from patient to patient. But it can take 6-9 months to go back to sports after the surgery, and this also depends on the competition level and which activity you are doing.

After the surgery, you’ll be given crutches and a leg brace to help you walk. Then, join a rehabilitation program to help the knee regain its strength and motion control.

What anesthesia is used for ACL surgery?

The doctor often gives an epidural nerve block to hinder pain signals from being produced. It is similar to the anesthesia that most women receive during childbirth. However, note that the anesthesia used depends on where you are treated. 

What happens during the ACL reconstruction surgery?

The orthopedic makes a replacement graft from either an allograft, tissue from a donor, or a portion of your patellar tendon, hamstring, or quadriceps. The right graft depends on the patient. 

ACL surgery uses arthroscopic techniques that are a combination of small incisions, fiber optics, and tiny instruments. But your doctor may need a larger incision to extract the tissue graft.