What Happens in an ACL Surgery?
Updated: Oct 16
**The following blog post is taken from JaytheSportsPhysio. Reproduced with permission**
ACL injuries are getting more and more common. The more you understand about the process, the more of an informed choice you can make regarding whether it is right for you.
Regardless of graft type, most ACL surgeries are done through arthroscope. The graft is often harvested first, and prepared.
The surgeon will start by creating 4 incisions. One on the outside part of the quad, for the camera. Then another two incisions on either side of the knee cap, to allow access to the joint. Lastly, an incision on the inside of e of the tibia, to anchor the graft. The inside of the knee is then cleaned out, and prepared for the graft. This might mean taking out the fragments of the old ACL, or cleaning out any other bony debris.
The surgeon will create a tunnel into the femur, and in the tibia. These will be the anchor points for the ACL graft. The graft will go through the lower hole, into the femur. It is then anchored down on either side. There may be some variations depending on the technique.
Once the graft is in, the surgeon will check to make sure the knee has adequate range of motion. A knee that is too tight will struggle to get full extension. Too loose, and it is likely to re- rupture again.
After that, it is a matter of stitching it all up together.
Post surgery, you will be on anti- biotics as a precaution. Some surgeons will ask for you to be in a brace, others will not. You will be on crutches, but that is more for your own comfort rather than for the surgery. Usually you will be home within a day, assuming there are no other complications.
Want to learn more about ACL injuries? Check out our new ACL specific website here