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Arthroscopic Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

Arthroscopic anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction is surgery to replace your torn ACL. The ACL is a ligament in your knee that connects the tibia (shin bone) to the femur (thigh bone). Ligaments are strong tissues that connect bones together.


HOW TO PREPARE:

The week before surgery:

  • Bring a list of your medicines or your medicine bottles when you see your healthcare provider. Tell your healthcare provider if you take any herbs, food supplements, or over-the-counter medicines. Tell him if you have any allergies.
  • Meet with your physical therapist. This is the healthcare provider who will teach you exercises to help make your knee stronger. You may also be taught how to get up from sitting to standing position after surgery. You may be taught how to use a brace and crutches.
  • You may need to have blood tests, x-rays, and other tests. Ask your healthcare provider for more information about these and other tests that you may need. Write down the date, time, and location of each test.
  • Arrange to have someone drive you home after surgery. Do not drive yourself home.

The night before surgery:

  • You may be given medicine to help you sleep.
  • Ask caregivers about directions for eating and drinking.

The day of surgery:

An anesthesiologist may talk to you before your surgery. Tell him if you or any member of your family have had a problem using anesthesia.

WHAT WILL HAPPEN:

What will happen:

  • You may get regional anesthesia that will make you lose feeling in your leg. You may get general anesthesia to keep you asleep and free from pain during surgery. A small incision will be made in your knee. Healthcare providers will use an arthroscope to look inside your knee joint by inserting it through the incision. Additional small incisions will be made in several places around your knee. Tools will be put into these incisions to reconstruct your injured ACL.
  • Another incision will be made if the graft (piece of tendon or muscle) will be taken from another part of your body. The graft will be pulled through a tunnel drilled in your tibia and femur and screws used to hold it. The incisions will be closed with stitches, staples, or tape. A drain may be placed temporarily.

CONTACT YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IF:

  • You have a fever.
  • You have a skin infection or an infected wound near the injured knee.
  • You have questions or concerns about your surgery.

Seek Care Immediately if

  • Your signs or symptoms get worse.
  • You have more pain or trouble moving around.

Risks

You may develop an infection or bleed more than expected. You could have trouble breathing or develop blood clots. Even after surgery, the knee may not go back to the way it was before.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

© 2016 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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