Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Surgery
|Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injury|
|Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.|
Reasons for Procedure
- A complete tear of the ACL
- A high degree of joint instability
- Injury to the knee that affects more than one ligament
- A need to return to sports or other activities that require pivoting, turning, or sharp movements
- No improvement with rehabilitative therapy
- Excess bleeding
- Blood clots
- Reaction to anesthesia
- The operation does not provide the desired improvement in function
- Instability of the knee
- Numbness or stiffness in the knee
- Kneecap pain after surgery
What to Expect
Prior to Procedure
- Arrange for help at home while you recover
- Talk to your doctor about any medications, herbs, or supplements you are taking
- Talk to your doctor about any allergies you have
- Ask your doctor about assisted devices you will need
- Aspirin or other anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen or naproxen
- Blood-thinning drugs, such as warfarin
- Anti-platelet drugs, such as clopidogrel
Description of the Procedure
How Long Will It Take?
How Much Will It Hurt?
Average Hospital Stay
- Monitor your vital signs as you recover from the anesthesia.
- Medication to manage pain.
- Antibiotics to prevent infection.
- Medication that prevents blood clots.
- Place ice packs on your knee.
- Show you how to use a continuous passive motion machine.
- Teach you how to use crutches or knee brace.
- Take pain medication as directed.
- Use crutches or knee brace for as long as the doctor recommends.
- Work with a physical therapist.
- Gradually begin low impact activities, such as swimming or cycling, to strengthen the knee.
- Keep the incision area clean and dry.
- Ask your doctor about when it is safe to shower, bathe, or soak in water.
- Be sure to follow your doctor’s instructions.
Call Your Doctor
- Signs of infection, including fever and chills
- Redness, swelling, increasing pain, excessive bleeding, or any discharge from the incision site
- Swelling, pain, or heat in your calves
- Pain cannot be controlled with medications given
- Nausea or vomiting
- Cough, shortness of breath, or chest pain
- Numbness in the knee area
- Trouble urinating
- New or worsening symptoms
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons http://orthoinfo.org
American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine http://www.sportsmed.org
Canadian Orthopaedic Association http://www.coa-aco.org
Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation http://www.canorth.org
ACL Injury: Does It Require Surgery? American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website. Available at: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00297. Updated September 2009. Accessed May 3, 2013.
Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php. Updated April 12, 2013. Accessed May 3, 2013.
Anterior cruciate ligament injuries. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website. Available at: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00549. Updated March 2009. Accessed May 3, 2013.
Anterior cruciate ligament injuries: treatment and rehabilitation. Encyclopedia of Sports Medicine and Science website. Available at: http://sportsci.org/encyc/aclinj/aclinj.html. Accessed May 3, 2013.
Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation. Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) surgery. Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation website. Available at: http://www.canorth.org/en/patienteducation/Default.aspx?pagename=Anterior%20Cruciate%20Ligament%20Repair. Accessed May 3, 2013.
Knee ligament repair. John Hopkins Medicine website. Available at. http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/healthlibrary/test%5Fprocedures/orthopaedic/knee%5Fligament%5Frepair%5F92,P07675/. Accessed May 3, 2013.
6/6/2011 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance: Mills E, Eyawo O, Lockhart I, Kelly S, Wu P, Ebbert JO. Smoking cessation reduces postoperative complications: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Am J Med. 2011;124(2):144-154.e8.
- Reviewer: John C. Keel, MD; Brian Randall, MD
- Review Date: 05/2013 -
- Update Date: 05/03/2013 -
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
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