An Overview on Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction
The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is one of the four main ligaments responsible for stabilizing the knee. The other ligaments include the posterior cruciate ligament (PCL), medial collateral ligament (MCL) and posterior lateral complex (PLC). The ACL is located at the front of the knee joint (anterior) and crosses (cruciate) in front of the PCL. Responsible for assisting with stability during rotational movements and twisting, the ACL is the most commonly torn knee ligament. Athletes are more prone to an ACL injury since they are heavily involved in running, acceleration and deceleration, and sudden cutting movements. When an ACL injury or tear occurs and requires surgery, an ACL surgery may be recommended. Highly experienced in ACL reconstruction surgery, Dr. Nikhil Verma, knee surgeon in the Chicago, Westchester, Oak Brook and Hinsdale, Illinois area, can help professional athletes and the general, active population return to the activities they love following an injury.
In most cases, an ACL injury occurs as a result of an acute traumatic event. Over 70% of these injuries are non-contact, meaning the athlete injures themselves without contact from another player. Most patients experience a popping sound at the time of the ACL injury and notice sudden swelling and pain in the affected knee. The injury is followed by a sense of instability and difficulty with range of motion in the knee.
When an injury occurs to this ligament, an ACL reconstruction is typically recommended by Dr. Verma. The ACL has a poor blood supply and due to the general anatomy of the knee, the ligament does not heal naturally on its own. The decision to proceed with surgery is dependent on the age and desired activity level of the injured person. In most cases, reconstruction is required if the patient wishes to return to high level contact, cutting or pivoting sports. ACL surgery stabilizes the knee while lowering the risk of future arthritis or meniscus tear.