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ACL Injury: Patient Guide 


What is the ACL?

The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is a ligament in the middle of the knee that helps stabilise the joint. 

What causes an ACL to tear?

ACL tears commonly occur when changing direction quickly whilst playing sport e.g. football, rugby, netball, basketball etc. 

Signs of an ACL tear
⦁ Severe pain at the time of injury
⦁ Knee swelling shortly after the injury
⦁ Unable to continue playing
⦁ Lack of stability in the knee—it ‘gives way’

ACL surgery, treatment & recovery

It is recommended that the initial swelling and stiffness has settled before performing reconstructive surgery. This aims to maximise the range of motion in the knee and increase muscle control to help stabilise the knee after surgery. 

Two of your hamstring tendons are often used/grafted to reconstruct the torn ACL. The tendon graft sits inside the knee, taking the place of the torn ACL. It is fixed in place in tunnels drilled in the tibia (shin bone) and femur (thigh bone).

After the surgery you will undergo a period of rehabilitation, progressing from gentle knee movements and aiming for a return to sport approximately 1 year after surgery. 

Some people can manage without ACL reconstructive surgery, although they are at slightly higher risk of future knee meniscus tears. 

Get in touch today

For further details on any of our orthopaedic services, get in contact with the team at LMcG Orthopaedics in Geraldton today.

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