Anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction rebuilds the ligament. Most ACL tears cannot be sutured (stitched) back together. To surgically repair the ACL and restore knee stability, the ligament must be reconstructed. Your doctor will replace your torn ligament with a tissue graft that acts as scaffolding for the new ligament to grow and be supported in the process.
Grafts can be obtained from the patellar tendon that runs between the kneecap and the shinbone, from the hamstring tendons at the back of the thigh and sometimes the quadriceps tendon which runs from the kneecap into the thigh. Or cadaver graft, also called allograft. Your orthopedic surgeon will discuss the different types of grafts and which one may be best for your treatment. The procedure is done with an arthroscope using small incisions, meaning it is less invasive for less pain from surgery, less time spent in the hospital and quicker recovery times.
Surgery is followed by physical therapy to return motion to the joint and surrounding muscles, followed by a strengthening program designed to protect the new ligament.