ACL Replacement … how we used to do it.

With 40 per cent of all sporting injuries in the UK involving knee ligament damage knee specialist surgeons like myself have, for years, carried a heavy workload of repair and reconstruction.

When the ACL ligament is torn it becomes very difficult to perform movements such as twisting or turning quickly on the spot which are necessary for sports such as football, netball, tennis, squash and rugby: pivoting sports.

Many different techniques have been developed for reconstructing the ACL ligament and the results have been somewhat disappointing in that a large number of patients are not able to get back to the same level of activity following their ACL surgery.  And for many the reconstructed knee just doesn’t feel quite normal.

To make the new ACL ligament the surgeon needs to take tissue from the patient and most commonly surgeons take two of the patient’s own hamstrings tendons which are then folded in 2 to make the new Graft.

The graft is then inserted through two tunnels which are drilled through both the shin and thigh bones into the knee cavity and the new ACL graft is then secured in place by screws.

Although the procedures has proved successful in restoring stability to the knee some patients have on going issues with the knee not feeling normal.  They have to be careful with what they do and up to 40% of patients are not able to get back to the same level of sport after the surgery.

At Hampshire Knee a new minimally invasive ‘All inside’ procedure has been developed using advanced keyhole techniques and tools.  This new technique has been performed in over 300 patients and has subsequently become popular in many of the leading centres world wide such as the Mayo clinic and Hospital for Special Surgery in the US.

See our next blog post to find out what we do now.


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