To prepare for the ACL reconstruction, you are likely to undergo several weeks of physical therapy before the actual surgery procedure.
The goal of surgery is to reduce the pain and swelling, reduce the full range of motion of your knee and strengthen the muscles.
People who go into surgery with a stiff, swollen knee often have poor healing and do not regain full range of motion after surgery.
ACL reconstruction is an outpatient procedure, so you will able to go home later the same day.
Remember to have another individual drive you there.
Food and medications
It is very important to share with your surgeon a list of any medications, herbal or dietary supplements that you take on a regular basis.
If aspirin or other blood-thinning medications are also taken, your doctor may ask you to stop taking them for at least a week before surgery to reduce your risk of bleeding.
It is very important to follow your doctor's instructions about when to stop eating, drinking and taking any other form of medication prior to your surgery.
5 What to Expect
Read on to learn more about what to expect before, during, and after your ACL reconstruction procedure.
Usually, general anaesthesia is used during ACL reconstructions, so you will be unconscious during the entirety of the procedure.
ACL reconstruction is usually performed through small incisions, one holds a thin, tube-like video camera (arthroscope) and another allows surgical instruments access to the joint space.
During the procedure
In the process of ACL reconstruction, the surgeon removes the damaged ligament rather than repairing it. The damaged ligament is the substituted with a segment of the tendon, tissue similar to a ligament that connects muscle to bone.
This substitute tissue is known as a graft. Your surgeon will use a piece of tendon from another part of your knee or from a deceased donor. He or she will drill sockets or tunnels into your thigh and shin bones to precisely position the graft, which is further secured to the bones with screws or other fixative devices.
The graft will serve as a scaffolding on which new ligament tissue can develop.
After the procedure
Once the anaesthesia wears off, you will be allowed to go home. However, before you go home, you will have to practice walking with crutches, and your surgeon may ask you to wear a knee brace or splint to help protect the graft.
Prior to leaving the hospital, you will receive instructions on when you can shower or bathe, when you can change the dressings on the wound and how you can manage post-surgery care.
To reduce swelling and pain immediately after surgery, practice the R.I.C.E. model of self-care at home:
apply Ice every two hours for 20 minutes,
Compress the knee by wrapping an elastic bandage or compression wrap
FindATopDoc is a trusted resource for patients to find the top doctors in their area. Be visible and accessible with your up to date contact
information, certified patients reviews and online appointment booking functionality.