Knee Ligament Surgery Overview
Ligaments (Knee Ligament Surgery) are elastic bands of tissue that connect bones to each other and provide stability and strength to the joint. They also give support to limit the joint’s movement. Ligaments are often damaged usually in a sports injury where the knee joint becomes unstable. A torn ligament severely limits knee movement. This results in the inability to turn, or twist the leg. If medical treatments are not satisfactory, knee ligament repair surgery may be an effective treatment. The surgery to correct a torn knee ligament involves replacing the ligament with a piece of healthy tendon. The tendons are the connective tissues that unites a muscle with some other part.
Ligaments in the Knee
Ligaments plays a vital role in keeping the knee stable and enabling a person to have a full range of movement. There are four main ligaments in the knee that include:
- (ACL) Anterior cruciate ligament – The ligament, located in the centre of the knee, that controls rotation and forward movement of the shin bone – which is in the front of the leg below the knee.
- (PCL) Posterior cruciate ligament – The ligament, located in the centre of the knee, that controls backward movement of the shin bone.
- (MCL) Medial collateral ligament – The ligament that gives stability to the inner knee.
- (LCL) Lateral collateral ligament – The ligament that gives stability to the outer knee.
- You’ll be asked to attend a pre-admission clinic to discuss the procedure of Knee Ligament surgery.
- A physical examination will be carried out and some investigations and tests, such as a knee X-ray will be given.
- You’ll be asked about tablets or types of medication you have been taking.
- They’ll also ask you some questions about your teeth, including whether you wear dentures, caps or a plate because a tube may be put down your throat to help you breathe during the operation, and any loose teeth could be dangerous.
During the Surgery (Knee Ligament Surgery):
- You will be given anesthesia and the surgeon will carefully examine the inside of your knee, with a medical instrument called an arthroscope.
- After confirming that your ACL is torn, your surgeon will perform grafting by removing a piece of healthy skin or bone cut to the correct size from one part of the body.
- It will then be positioned in the knee and fixed to the thigh bone (femur) and shin bone (tibia) to repair and relocate. Mostly grafting is done from the inner side of your knee or from the bottom of the kneecap.
- After the graft tissue has been secured, your surgeon will test whether it’s strong enough to hold your knee together. They’ll also check your knee has the full range of motion and that the graft keeps your knee stable when it’s bent or moved.
Post Surgery (Knee Ligament Surgery):
- After Knee Ligament surgery, the wound will be closed with stitches or surgical clips.
- If the stitches are dissolvable, they should disappear after 3 weeks. If your stitches are not dissolvable, they’ll need to be removed by a healthcare professional.
- Your surgeon will advise how to care your wound like washing with mild soap and warm water.
- Your knee will be bandaged and you will also be given a Cryo/Cuff to wear. This is a waterproof bandage that contains iced water to help reduce swelling.
- You will be given painkilling medication for irritation, swelling and redness down the front of your shin and ankle. These symptoms are temporary and will improve after about a week.
- Your surgeon will advise you about a structured rehabilitation program which has to be followed for a speedy recovery.