Arthroscopic knee cruciate ligament reconstruction
Anterior and posterior cruciate ligament tears are one of the most common knee injuries that occur in skiing or contact sports.
When these ligaments tear, patients experience a sense of instability in their knee joint. In this case, conservative treatment or ordinary ligament suturing is not effective. In order to restore knee stability, ligament reconstruction needs to be done by using autografts, i.e., the fragments of other ligaments or tendons harvested from the same patient.
The surgery is done by a minimally invasive arthroscopic approach. During the procedure, an arthroscope, a thin, pencil-sized instrument equipped with a fiberoptic video camera, is used, and all surgeon’s surgical manipulations are watched on a video screen.
How Is the Surgery Performed?
The procedure is usually made under spinal anesthesia, and time in surgery varies from 40 minutes to 1.5 hours.
An arthroscope is inserted into the knee joint through a small incision measuring 0.5-1 cm. Additional 1 or 2 incisions of the same size are placed to introduce arthroscopic instruments. Moreover, additional incisions are done to harvest a graft. With the assistance of the arthroscope, a new ligament formed from the graft is inserted into the knee joint through special tunnels and is fixed in place in the area of the tibia and the femur using special implants.
What Should Be Known After Surgery?
- Partial weight bearing on the foot affected is allowed on the first day after the procedure;
- Ice should be applied to the operated knee for 2 weeks;
- The wound should be redressed 1-2 times per week;
- The sutures are removed after 10-14 days;
- Physical activity should be restricted for 4 weeks. Light jogging can be resumed after 4 months, and return to contact sports is allowed after 6 months;
- Rehabilitation should be initiated after 3 weeks;
- Routine activities can be resumed completely within 2-3 months.