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Anterior Cruciate ligament reconstruction

The Basics

The anterior cruciate ligament as one of two ligaments which are sited deep inside the knee whose the main function is to stabilise the knee. Patients who have sustained damage to one or other of the cruciate ligaments, may complain of instability or the knee “giving away”. Often they may not experience  symptoms until they turn quickly on the leg or participate in contact sports.

Some patients are able to train the muscles around the knee to take over the function of this important ligament but many others find that they still have symptoms, or cannot depend upon the knee. For these patients, the modern techniques used to help create a new ligament which will stop their symptoms and allow them to return to more vigorous activity such as contact sport e.g., Football.

Modern reconstruction techniques favoured the use of the patient’s own tissues to reconstruct the ligament. There are only a limited number of places  where a graft can be taken from, without causing weakness or damage to the donor site. Typically the hamstring tendons (from the underside of the thigh) or the patellar tendon (a small but strong tendon which joins the kneecap to the shinbone) are the two most popular  grafts.

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