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ACL surgery
ACL surgery is usually arthroscopic, which is a less invasive means of surgery.  The word arthroscopic essentially means “joint look”.   When knee arthroscopy is performed, the surgeon makes a small incision (a few millimeters) and inserts a miniature camera into the knee.  The camera is attached to a light source.  A picture of the inside of the knee is then displayed on an LCD monitor next to the operating table.  The surgeon uses this monitor as his/her “eyes” when performing the surgery.

The surgeon employs a nifty procedure, using water under pressure to "inflate" the knee thereby allowing the surgeon a greater ability to maneuver and successfully complete the surgery.  The surgeon will then make another small incision (again, a few centimeters) allowing him/her to insert medical instruments into the knee cavity that are used to correct the ACL tear. 

The entire surgery prep and surgery usually is completed within a few hours.

ACL and arthroscopic surgeons
Many surgeons specialize in ACL surgery.  It is usually prudent to ask your surgeon how many operations he/she has performed on your type of ACL injury and if your surgeon is not well-versed in the particular type of surgery you need, seek a more qualified surgeon.  Even if you are not an athlete, you should consider a sports-medicine surgeon.  These surgeons generally specialize in ACL surgeries as ACL injuries are common sports-induced injuries.

Demobilization, Stabilization, and Above the Knee Casts

In many circumstances, patients with ACL injuries are provided with temporary demobilization and stabilization braces.  In some rare or more serious situations (e.g., tibia fractures), patients may be provided with an above the knee cast--sometimes referred to by the acronym AKC.  Such a cast is meant to demobilize the knee for the time period in which the cast is on the patient's leg and allow healing to any broken bones. 

Research has shown that knee rehabilitation may be more effective when patients enter a physical therapy regimen and gradually attempt to regain normal range of motion with their leg.  Consult your surgeon for more information about what type of brace and stabilization devices may work best for you.

 


The information contained in ACL.us is for educational purposes only. 
Always consult your medical professional regarding any specific questions you have about a past, current, future, or potential injury.

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