What is Difference Between Ligament Reconstruction and Repair?

Ligament Reconstruction - Sriramakrishnahospital

One of the four important ligaments in the knee is the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). It helps keep the rotational stability of the knee and keeps the shinbone (tibia) from moving in front of the thigh bone (femur).

When doing sports or getting hit, the ACL is especially likely to get hurt, and a torn ACL is a regular injury for athletes of all levels. It happens a lot in games like soccer, basketball, skiing, and football where you have to plant your feet, cut, and turn. When someone tears their ACL, they often need surgery.

What is referred to as an ACL Tear?

When the anterior cruciate ligament breaks, either partially or fully, this is called an ACL tear. When an ACL is torn, it can’t grow back or heal itself.

Who tends to get an ACL injury?

An ACL tear can happen to people of any age, shape, or ability. Active women are more likely than men to tear their ACLs because the way their bodies move puts more stress on their knees.

Children also often get ACL injuries, especially as youth games get more competitive. Up until recently, ACL repair for kids and teens was always done without surgery. This was because the way ACL repair surgery was done in the past could cause a difference in leg length or a growth abnormality in growing children. But because of improvements in surgery, many kids and teens can now choose to have the problem fixed surgically.

What are the signs that indicate an ACL tear?

  • Extreme knee pain
  • A sound of snap at the time of injury
  • Swelling at the site of injury

People often say that they hear a “pop” when they tear their ACL. The knee will swell up quickly and will often feel unsteady. But these signs may be mild in tears that aren’t as bad. This is especially true for people who don’t do a lot of physical exercise in their daily lives.

ACL Repair vs Reconstruction:

ACL repair is not a choice for all patients, and not all orthopedic surgeons are able to do it. Once the ACL is seen, usually with an MRI, your operator can figure out if it might be possible to fix it. During the pre-operative visit, if the patient might be able to get fixed during surgery, this is talked about. 

Repair or reconstruction? That depends on a lot of things, like the type of tear, your age, how active you are, and the health of your tissues. Most repairs to the ACL are done in a short amount of time.

Both ACL repair and reconstruction take about the same amount of time to heal after surgery, but ACL repair has a faster return to play procedure. This is because the treatment is less dangerous.

Which is the right choice between ACL repair and reconstruction?

ACL repair has been the standard treatment for torn ligaments for many years. Reconstruction has a high success rate, but full healing can take from 6 to 12 months. The goal of ligament tear repair is to keep the patient’s ligament in place so that it can heal on its own. Also, the joint might need stem cells. 

The goal of ACL repair is to shorten the time it takes to get better and lower the risk of getting arthritis in the future. But ACL repair is still pretty new, and surgeons who know how to do both will give the patient choices for the best outcome.

What are the major advantages of undergoing an ACL tear treatment?

Both types are good because they are not too intrusive. The treatments are quicker, and you need less time to heal. Physical therapy is also needed for both ways. There are some ways to treat the problem without surgery, but surgery gets the most active people back on their feet and out of pain quickly.

When is an ACL tear treatment required?

Most of the time, a person’s way of life determines whether or not they need surgery. ACL reconstruction surgery is often needed for players and other people of any age who want to keep doing physically demanding activities.

If the injury isn’t too bad, some people who don’t play sports or do hard physical work may not need surgery and be able to live busy, healthy lives without it. People with torn ACLs who are treated conservatively and without surgery are frequently able to swim, jog, and utilise the majority of gym or health club apparatus.

What might follow if an ACL tear is not treated on time?

People who have hurt their ACL are more likely to get osteoarthritis in their knees. Even if you have ligament reconstruction surgery  to fix the joint, you may still get arthritis.

There are probably many things that affect the risk of arthritis, such as how bad the original injury was, if there are other injuries in the knee joint, or how active the person is after treatment.

What are the 4 tips to prevent an ACL tear?

ACL injuries can be less likely to happen if you train and practice the right way. A specialist in orthopedic reconstruction, physical therapist, athletic trainer, or other expert in sports medicine can help you lower risks.

Some tips that help prevent ACL injuries are:

  • When you do exercises to build your core, you focus on your hips, pelvis, and lower abdomen. The goal is to teach players not to move their knees inward when they squat.
  • Exercises that develop leg muscles, especially the hamstrings, to make sure that the strength of the leg muscles as a whole is balanced.
  • When training and working out, the right way to jump and fall from a jump is emphasized, along with the right knee position.
  • Training to improve skill when pivoting and cutting techniques.

Important Takeaway:

Tears in the ACL can be painful. But with the right surgery, people can learn to walk again. Most of the time, ACL repair is good for the long run. But there may be some cases in which ACL repair will work and the recovery time will be faster. 

The best thing to do is to talk to an orthopedic expert who knows how to do both surgeries. Based on things like age, health, and the size of the tear, the surgeon will give good advice. Visit the best orthopedic hospital in Coimbatore to get the best treatment for ACL tear.


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