Anterior cruciate ligament restoration

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Surgery to repair your ACL

If you tear your anterior cruciate ligament, you may need surgery to reconstruct it and restore stability in your knee

About

The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is a band of tough connective tissue that stretches diagonally across your knee. It joins the thighbone to the shinbone and supports the knee joint. Reconstruction is often needed following skiing, football and other sporting injuries.

Need to know

  • What happens icon plus

    This operation is usually carried out under general anaesthetic, which means you'll be asleep. Sometimes it's carried out under local anaesthetic so you'll be awake but the area will be numb.

    Your surgeon will make small cuts in the front of your knee and carry out the procedure with keyhole surgery, using a camera to see inside your knee.

    The graft will be placed over the torn ligament and fixed to the thighbone and shinbone. The graft acts as a scaffold for the ligament to grow on as it heals.

  • How to prepare icon plus

    Like all procedures, there may be some risks and side effects involved. Your consultant will explain these to you and let you know how to prepare.

    ACL surgery is usually carried out a few weeks after the injury, so any inflammation can settle down. Before you have surgery, your consultant may recommend you wear a knee brace to help protect the joint from further injury. You may also be given crutches to keep your full weight off your knee. Physical therapy, which may include strengthening your quadriceps and hamstrings, along with exercises to help increase the range of movement in your knee joint.

  • Afterwards icon plus

    How fast you recover varies from person to person.


    Physical therapy is vital. Your consultant will usually recommend exercises to start immediately after your surgery. You may also be advised to use a knee brace and crutches. Regular cleaning of the wound, as well as icing it to reduce swelling, can also help.


    Talk to your consultant about what steps you can take to help your recovery. Your consultant will let you know when you can get back to your usual routine, including work.

Don't wait, pay for yourself

We offer this treatment at a fixed price at some of our facilities.

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This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.

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