The knee is one of the most important load-bearing joints in the body. It is held together by four ligaments. The most important one is the Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL), especially in athletic movements which involve a sudden change in rotation or physical impact, such as running and kicking. The ACL is one of the most commonly injured knee ligaments, which can make the knee joint less stable. Reconstructive surgery is the recommended treatment for severe ACL injuries. There are several surgery packages online which are quite affordable.
ACL injuries are among the most common sports injuries. It’s risk increases with sports such as football, basketball, and rugby. The symptoms experienced after the injury are swelling, pain and inability to move the knee. Based on the extent of damage, there are three types of ACL injury:
- Grade I - Slightly overstretched ligament with micro-tears, but overall knee stability is present. Surgical treatment is not required
- Grade II - Tearing and partial disruption of the ligament. Surgery might be required depending on the patient’s level of activity and degree of damage.
- Grade III - Completely ruptured ligament fibres, leading to unstable knee joint. Surgery is strongly recommended.
Surgery is usually performed with new tissue which replaces the injured ACL. The surgeon will create careful incisions around the knee, remove the torn ACL, and attach the new tissue graft to the bone. Patients can look up ACL surgery cost in different hospitals before they make their final decision. The following are the four most common ACL reconstruction methods.
- Patellar tendon autograft.
This autograft involves a portion of the patient’s patellar tendon. It is one of the best methods of ACL reconstruction. While the knee joint rapidly recovers most of its flexibility, there is a small likelihood of postoperative pain and stiffness in the knee.
- Hamstring tendon autograft
The tissue used in the autograft comes from the patient’s hamstring tendon on the inner side of the knee. There is reduced postoperative stiffness and pain unlike in the patellar autograft. However, recent research has shown that hamstring strength decreases after this graft.
- Quadriceps tendon autograft
This surgery utilises a portion of the patient’s quadriceps tendon. It is suggested for patients who have had previously unsuccessful ACL reconstructions. As the quadriceps tendon is large, this graft suits taller and heavier patients. However, there is a high chance of postoperative knee pain.
Allografts are grafts taken
from cadavers and are used in failed ACL reconstruction cases. Patellar tendons
and tibialis anterior tendons are most common. Care is taken to screen and
sterilise cadaver tissue before the graft as there is a chance of infection.
There are several advantages to this graft: less pain, shorter surgery time and
reduced incisions. However, studies show that allograft failure is higher than
Once ACL injury has been diagnosed, the doctor will suggest the next course of action. There are several non-surgical options available for those who don’t indulge in activities that cause a ligament tear in knee. In addition, partial ACL tears can be managed by a trained physiotherapist. However, for complete ruptures, surgery can restore function in almost 90% of patients. The patient can return to the sport once their knee achieves its previous strength and stability, but any instability that develops must be evaluated by a doctor immediately.