This surgery replaces a torn anterior cruciate ligament, commonly known as the “ACL.” The replacement ligament is made from part of your hamstring tendon.
To begin, you’re put to sleep under general anesthesia. A small incision is made to reach the hamstring. Parts of this tendon are removed. They are braided together to form your graft that will become your new ACL.
Replacing the ACL
Next, small openings are made in the skin of your knee. One is for an arthroscope – a small video device that lets the surgeon see inside your knee. The other openings are for surgical instruments. The surgeon cuts and removes the torn ACL. Then, the surgeon drills tunnels in the bones of your knee. The hamstring tendon graft is pulled into position and secured. The new graft strengthens as it heals.
End of procedure
When the procedure is done, your knee is bandaged and stabilized. You are watched in a recovery room, and then you can go home. You will have follow-up visits with your surgeon or the referring doctor, and will most likely have a period of physical therapy to regain strength and mobility in your knee.