There are several options available when treating an ACL injury. The most common treatment is to replace your native ACL with a new ligament. Typically, the new ligament material (graft) can be taken from one of the patient's own tendons (autograft), or the graft can be taken from a tendon in the knee of a tissue donor (allograft). You and your doctor will decide which option is best for your particular situation.
ACL Reconstruction is usually performed as an outpatient procedure and rarely requires an overnight stay in the hospital. The entire procedure requires approximately 1-2 hours to complete and is typically performed under general anesthesia, spinal or epidural.
ACL Reconstruction is most often performed arthroscopically. Arthroscopy is a surgical technique that uses long tube-like scopes that are inserted into the body through very small incisions. These scopes display the inside of your knee joint on a monitor, allowing the surgeon to precisely manipulate the surgical instruments. The benefits of arthroscopic surgery are a shorter recovery period, smaller incisions (one-quarter to one-half inch in length), minimal scarring, and less potential for infection.
The ACL Reconstruction procedure creates tunnels in the thigh bone (femur) and the shin bone (tibia) to make a path for the new graft (tendon). One of the most common graft used is the semi-tendonosis/gracilis graft. This graft is taken from a portion of the muscles in the thigh. The graft is passed through specially designed instruments into the tunnels and fixed inside the tunnels. The new graft is fixed inside the tunnels with screws, buttons, pins, or similar devices. Some of those devices are made out of materials that resorb or dissolve with time and are replaced with bone by the body. The graft crosses the joint in the position as the original ACL after it is fixed with these devices. The small incisions are then closed and a knee compression bandage is applied. Some surgeons prefer to use a long leg brace postoperatively.
Biomet Sports Medicine is a manufacturer of orthopedic implants and does not practice medicine.
This information was prepared in conjunction with a licensed physician and is presented as general information only. Only an orthopedic surgeon can determine what treatment is appropriate. The life of any implant will depend on your weight, age, activity level, and other factors. For more information on risks, warnings, and possible adverse effects, see the Patient Risk Information section found within Biomet.com. Always ask your doctor if you have any questions regarding your particular condition or treatment options.