Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction

Anterior-Cruciate-Ligament-Reconstruction

Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction using hamstring tendon graft

When the decision has been made to proceed with surgery for a rupture of the anterior cruciate ligament, the patient will be admitted to the hospital on the day of the operation. The details of the surgery, including possible risks and complications, will be explained by the surgeon and the patient’s written informed consent therefore gained. A physiotherapist will visit before the operation to further explain what to expect in the days and weeks to come, and provide a detailed written post-operative rehabilitation protocol.

The surgery is usually performed under a full (general) anaesthetic. Arthroscopy is performed to confirm the injury and address any cartilage tears which may also be present.

A minimally invasive, ‘all-inside’ technique is used, by fashioning a short graft using just a single hamstring tendon. This avoids much of the weakness of the hamstrings which many patients experience with the traditional ‘two tendons’ technique. The hamstring tendon is harvested via a small cut on the upper aspect of the shin, and this is passed into bone tunnel ‘sockets’ in the shin and thigh bone (tibia and femur) across the middle of the knee joint and tensioned before it is firmly fixed with screws. Following the surgery, a physiotherapist will give appropriate instruction and the exercise programme will be discussed.

The patient is usually fit for discharge on the evening of surgery, but may need to stay one night, depending on their ability to manage crutches safely. A knee brace is not usually required, and weight bearing is encouraged immediately. At the first clinic review by the surgeon two weeks later, the sutures are removed and walking without crutches is encouraged. Further regular clinic assessments are made during the rehabilitation period, with supervision by a sports physiotherapist for the first six months.

Return to contact sport is not advisable until twelve months following the surgery.

Physiotherapy

Physiotherapy for knee and hip Northampton

Physiotherapy for knee and hip

Physiotherapy is an essential part of the recovery process in many injuries, and after surgery to the hip and knee.

With the help of a sports physiotherapist, a patient can expect to maximise the benefits of the surgery that has been performed, whilst avoiding activities which might put their recovery at risk. Some conditions require more intensive work under the physio’s direct supervision, whilst others may simply involve a home exercise programme and appropriate advice.

A referral to a physiotherapist may be made by your orthopaedic specialist, your general practitioner, or in the case of private physiotherapy a self-referral can be made without a doctor’s involvement.

There are several private physiotherapists in the Northampton area who specialise in sports injury and rehabilitation. The patient will decide which practice is most convenient for them. Your specialist may then send a formal letter of referral on your behalf detailing the injury, surgery undertaken, and any restrictions on your activities during your period of physiotherapy treatment.