arthroscopic anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction
Ligaments connect bone to bone. ACLs are in your knee and prevent your shinbone from sliding in front of your thighbone. ACLs also are critical for moving your knee backward and forward. ACLs often get damaged in sports, like soccer and football, where players jump, change directions quickly or are hit. ACL patients often report hearing a “pop” and then having their knee fail when the injury occurs. Treatment depends on the severity of the damage and the patient’s age and activity level. Older, sedentary individuals typically do fine with a brace and therapy. Younger, active people often need surgery. ACLs cannot be sutured together, but they can be grafted. Material for grafts may come from the patient or a cadaver. Doctors will perform the operation using arthroscopic surgery, which is minimally invasive. A surgeon will make only small incisions and use them as a passage for a miniature camera and tiny instruments. This approach allows for faster healing, lower chances of infection and less disruption of surrounding tissue.