Knee ligament reconstruction

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Knee ligament reconstruction is a surgical procedure that involves restoring a damaged ligament in the knee, most commonly the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) or posterior cruciate ligament (PCL). The ligaments in the knee are important for the stability and support of the joint.


Candidates for knee ligament reconstruction typically include individuals who: Have a severe ligament injury: patients with a complete rupture or significant damage to the knee ligament that causes joint instability. Have functional limitations: individuals who have difficulties performing daily activities due to lack of knee stability and support. Have knee instability: patients with recurrent knee dislocations or a feeling of lack of support and stability in the knee.


Preparation for knee ligament reconstruction includes a thorough examination of the knee, radiological tests to assess the injury, preoperative laboratory tests, and an assessment by an anesthesiologist. The patient may also undergo preoperative rehabilitation to improve muscle strength and range of motion in the knee before the surgery.


The treatment of knee ligament reconstruction involves replacing the damaged ligament with a tissue graft, usually from a tendon (e.g., the sartorius, semitendinosus, or gracilis tendon) or an artificial material. The procedure is performed using an arthroscopic approach, with small incisions and specialized instruments for ligament replacement.


Recovery after knee ligament reconstruction can take 6 to 12 months or more, depending on the type of ligament, the complexity of the injury, and individual factors. Rehabilitation typically involves physical therapy, exercises to strengthen the muscles, gradual return to activities and sports, and the use of a brace or support. Regular follow-up visits with the doctor and physical therapist will be important during the recovery process.


Precautionary measures after knee ligament reconstruction include following the guidelines and instructions provided by the doctor and physical therapist, avoiding excessive stress on the knee during recovery, preventing injuries, and carefully monitoring the progress of recovery.


What is knee ligament reconstruction?

Knee ligament reconstruction is a surgical procedure that aims to repair or replace a damaged or torn ligament in the knee to restore stability and functionality to the joint.

Which ligaments in the knee can be reconstructed?

The most common ligaments that are reconstructed in the knee are the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and the posterior cruciate ligament (PCL). These ligaments are commonly injured during sports activities or traumatic events.

How is knee ligament reconstruction performed?

Knee ligament reconstruction involves the use of grafts to replace the damaged ligament. The graft can be obtained from the patient's own body (autograft) or from a donor (allograft). The surgeon uses surgical techniques to secure the graft in place and promote healing.

What is the recovery time after knee ligament reconstruction?

The recovery time after knee ligament reconstruction varies depending on the individual and the extent of the procedure. Generally, patients can expect several months of rehabilitation and physical therapy to regain strength, stability, and range of motion in the knee.

Can I return to sports after knee ligament reconstruction?

Returning to sports after knee ligament reconstruction is possible, but it depends on several factors, including the individual's progress in rehabilitation, the type of sport, and the recommendation of the surgeon. It is essential to follow a gradual return-to-sport program to ensure the knee is adequately healed and prepared for the demands of physical activity.

What are the potential risks and complications of knee ligament reconstruction?

Like any surgical procedure, knee ligament reconstruction carries certain risks and potential complications, such as infection, bleeding, blood clots, nerve injury, and limited improvement in symptoms. It is important to discuss these risks with your surgeon before undergoing the procedure.

How long do the results of knee ligament reconstruction last?

The long-term results of knee ligament reconstruction can vary depending on several factors, including the success of the surgery, adherence to rehabilitation protocols, and individual factors like activity level and additional injuries. Proper post-operative care, including ongoing strength and conditioning exercises, can help maintain the results for a longer period.

Can knee ligament reconstruction prevent the need for knee replacement?

In some cases, knee ligament reconstruction can delay or prevent the need for knee replacement surgery by addressing underlying problems and improving knee functionality. However, this may not be applicable in cases of severe arthritis or degenerative conditions.

Will I need crutches or a brace after knee ligament reconstruction?

Following knee ligament reconstruction, the use of crutches or a brace may be necessary during the initial stages of recovery to protect the knee and aid in walking. The duration of crutch or brace use will depend on individual circumstances and the guidance of the surgeon.

How often do I need follow-up appointments after knee ligament reconstruction?

After knee ligament reconstruction, your surgeon will schedule regular follow-up appointments to monitor your recovery progress. These appointments are important for assessing healing, evaluating knee functionality, and adjusting the rehabilitation plan as needed.

Ivana, Patient Coordinator

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Ivana, ZagrebMed patient coordinator