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Question

17 Jan 2006

acl injury
Hi! i fell playing netball and i tore the medial ligament and they suspected i tore the miniscus. i didn't have surgery done immediately but went for physio and biokinetic sessions. my knee came right for awhile but i was still not able to do impact excercises and i couldn't straighten it completely. i had a scope done in december 2005 and they found that the acl was torn. when i fell it had torn but the tear never showed up on any of the numerous scans i had done. it tore and the one end folded under and formed a hard ball. when i had the scope done the doc cut this away. i now have to have the acl repaired. how do they do this? i see the doc again end of Jan 2006 and he will decide when to operate. my knee is stable and i have been cycling and doing quad exercises to keep the muscles strong. how long should it take to recover after the second op? will i be able to play netball again and do impact exercises?
Answer 378 views
Expert
rehabilitation after injury

01 Jan 0001

For major ACL injuries, including a complete tear of the ligament, surgery will be necessary. The specific procedures for each surgery varies according to the degree of damage done, the age of the patient, the activity level of the patient and if there are any other injuries to the knee joint.

As it is not possible to repair the ACL by simply reconnecting the torn ends, in most cases, surgery will involve using a segment of another healthy tendon (usually patellar or hamstring) to replace the damaged ACL. The patient is anesthetized using general, spinal/epidural, regional or in some centers, local anesthetic with sedation. Arthroscopy allows determination of associated injuries, which are usually treated at the same setting (e.g., meniscal tears or chondral trauma). The space in the knee where the PCL and ACL reside is often narrow and in those cases it is widened to accommodate the graft. Then through a small separate accessory incision, a tunnel is drilled through the tibia (lower leg bone) and through the femur (the upper bone) in the same position as the original ligament attachment sites. The graft is fashioned to fit into these tunnels. The graft is fixed to the femur and tibia (upper and lower leg bones) by a variety of means. Once secure, the graft is checked for proper tension.

Recovery time from your operation depends on how well the surgical procedure goes. After surgery, expect to be on crutches for one to three weeks. Full recovery, using a comprehensive rehabilitation program will generally take about three to four months.

Regarding your need to resume impact exercises and netball, athletes involved in high demand sports can be back on the field / court in about six to eight months.


The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical examination, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.
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