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ACL Reconstruction

A tear in the anterior cruciate ligament is one of the most common knee injuries in both young and old athletes. The ACL helps stabilise the knee joint and when torn creates issues with most sporting activities, causing instability, pain and potentially further damage to the knee. The ACL cannot heal on its own and can’t be repaired without a graft – either from additional tendons from around the knee such as the mid third of the patella tendon a single hamstring tendon or a quadriceps tendon. Occasionally an allograft or a synthetic  graft is used. Organic tendon grafts usually involve nine to twelve months of rehabilitation.

The procedure itself is usually carried out under general anaesthetic and involves making two small incisions on the knee and inserting a small arthroscope (camera) into one incision to see inside the knee joint, while instruments are inserted into the other.

This is usually a day surgery procedure and you will need someone to drive you home after this procedure is complete. Rest is recommended for the first week after surgery, after which
you may need physical therapy or be given a set of simple exercises to help restore your movement and strength. 

ACL Reconstruction Fast Facts

Standard Procedure Time: 45 minutes
Standard Hospital Stay: Day surgery
Recovery Time: Driving within 2 weeks
Return to Light Activities: Within 2 weeks and normal activities within 3-6 months
Return to Full Activities: 6-9 months