Are you suffering from an Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) tear? Are you experiencing a disabling pain? If you’re nodding your head in a painful yes then you probably have been advised to an ACL reconstruction surgery and you probably have a lot of questions to ask. To help you understand your situation better, we have come up with a ready a list of a few frequently asked questions about ACL reconstruction surgery.
1. Who is the ideal candidate for ACL reconstruction surgery?
ACL reconstruction surgery is the best treatment option for those who want to get back to their active self at the earliest. This is highly recommended for athletes, sportspersons, and those who require pivoting of the joint. ACL reconstruction surgery is advised to those patients who have injured more than one ligament of the knee, and they have obtained no relief even after extensive physiotherapy. In such patients, the injury can occur again. So the most pragmatic decision would be to undergo the ACL reconstruction surgery to avoid further pain and complications.
2. In what conditions should ACL reconstruction surgery not be done?
ACL tears generally do not heal on their own. They need medical or surgical intervention. Most of the times it is the surgical approach that is commonly employed to manage the ACL tear. In some cases, the non-surgical approach is the best available option to treat ACL tear. ACL reconstruction surgery is generally avoided in older age group patients, less active patients, obese patients, and also in those who have severe arthritis. These patients have to be treated with non-surgical methods such as physiotherapy and medicines.
3. Which is the best ACL reconstruction surgery?
There is a variety of ACL reconstruction surgery options available. ACL reconstruction commonly involves the replacement of the damaged tendon with a healthy tendon that is taken from any other site. This is called tendon grafting. The tendon can be obtained from a tendon bank, the patellar tendon, from your hamstrings, or from quadriceps muscle.
All these surgeries have their own merits and demerits. The Doctor will decide which surgery option is best suited for you on the basis of your injury details, the type of the graft that shall be used, the methods available to obtain graft, and also the post ACL reconstruction surgery physiotherapy options available. Keeping all these factors in mind, your orthopedic surgeon will make a recommendation. Whichever ACL reconstruction your doctor decides on, in order to obtain the best results, the surgeon’s decision and his skill must be coupled with the patient’s dedication and commitment towards recovery.
4. What is the time taken for recovery post ACL reconstruction surgery?
Just like any other surgery, recovery from ACL reconstruction surgery varies from one person to another. ACL reconstruction takes several months up to a year to recover. For complete and proper recovery, physiotherapy is needed. The physiotherapists focus on restoring the mobility of the joint and next on strengthening the joint. For sports person, the strengthening and sports-related exercise will help in a faster recovery.
If you feel the need, talk to your doctor today and clarify your doubts before undergoing an ACL reconstruction surgery.