An ACL reconstruction or anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction is a surgery that repairs a damaged ACL. The ACL is one of the most critical soft tissues in your knee. It connects the tibia to the femur. Athletes commonly suffer torn ACLs. You can only repair a completely torn ACL through surgery to replace it with a tissue graft that mimics the natural ACL. The necessity of an ACL reconstruction depends on your lifestyle and the severity of the injury. If you think you have a torn ACL in West Chester, you need to see a specialist for proper diagnosis. You will need an ACL reconstruction in West Chester if you have a completely torn ACL.
How Soon Do You Need Surgery?
If you have a completely torn ACL, you will need surgery within the first three to six weeks of injury. During this time, the inflammation in the affected area can subside. If you have the surgery too soon, you may develop arthrofibrosis, an extreme scarring reaction. The timing of your surgery will vary depending on:
- The presence of other injuries that need treating before the surgery.
- The physical appearance of the affected knee.
- The level of pain you experience.
- Your range of motion and quality of muscle control.
How Does an ACL Reconstruction Work?
During an ACL reconstruction, an expert will make a new ACL from a graft tissue. They can extract it from one of two sources:
- A portion of your quadriceps, patellar tendon, or hamstring.
- An allograft.
The source of graft tissue varies from one patient to another. In most cases, ACL reconstruction experts in West Chester will use minimally invasive arthroscopic methods by combining fiber optics and small instruments. However, they have to make a larger incision to extract the graft tissue. An ACL surgery is an outpatient procedure, and you can go back home the same day.
How Long Does It Take to Recover From an ACL Reconstruction?
You may need an average of six to nine months of recovery before you can go back to sporting activity, depending on the type of activity and competition. You can use crutches or braces to move around immediately after the surgery. Shortly after treatment, you begin the rehabilitation phase to help you regain stability, strength, and the range of motion in your knee. The rehabilitation mainly entails a progression of physical activity and exercises.
The level of pain you experience during recovery may vary from other patients, but your doctor can recommend medications to ease the pain. To determine whether or not you have recovered fully, a specialist will inspect the restoration of range of motion, proprioception of your knee joint, and muscle strength. You have a shorter recovery time if you opt for arthroscopic surgical methods over conventional open surgery. However, you need a rehabilitation period and follow-up appointments for adequate recovery.
In summary, an ACL reconstruction is a surgical procedure to repair a damaged ACL. You may want to get it done within the first three to six weeks of injury after the inflammation subsides. Your surgeon can get the graft tissue from your own body or use an allograft from a donor. You can recover within six to nine months.