Anterior cruciate ligament rupture is one of the most serious and common sports knee ligament injuries, which is treated surgically with excellent results thanks to new arthroscopic approaches, which ensure the best possible ligament restoration.
It is a very common injury in sports, characterized by high accelerations and decelerations, turns and jumps, such as football, handball, basketball, volleyball, tennis, artistic gymnastics and skiing.
What is the anterior cruciate ligament?
The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is one of the most important stabilizing mechanisms of the knee joint and its loss can cause a feeling of instability, i.e. the knee “is buckling” with certain movements and especially during sports activities.
What is anterior cruciate ligament rupture?
Rupture of the anterior cruciate ligament has a traumatic etiology and is considered an injury with the most serious effects on the function and long-term health of the knee. It is often accompanied by other knee injuries, such as ruptures of the medial meniscus or the medial collateral ligament, as well as osteochondral lesions.
What causes the anterior cruciate ligament rupture?
Rupture of the anterior cruciate ligament usually occurs during sport activities. However, it can also be the result of a fall, collision, car accident or work accident.
How do I know if I have a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament?
The moment of the injury will never be forgotten. Patients with a rupture of the anterior cruciate ligament describe an acute knee pain and a popping sound at the time of the accident. Immediately after the injury, the knee swells and walking becomes almost impossible.
How is a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament diagnosed?
The correct diagnosis of the injury is made through a thorough clinical examination of the knee, when the latter is not swollen. This can be done immediately after the rupture, before edema appears, or after 48 hours and as long as the knee swelling begins to decrease with the appropriate medication and physiotherapy.
At the same time, imaging tests, such as x-rays and MRI, are required to assess any coexisting injuries in the medial lateral ligament, meniscus, etc.
Treatment – therapy
How is anterior cruciate ligament rupture treated?
The restoration of the anterior cruciate ligament rupture is performed surgically with arthroscopic knee surgery and ligamentoplasty, which is the most modern approach.
Ligamentoplasty involves the use of a graft taken from another part of the knee and placed in the anatomical position of the ruptured anterior cruciate ligament.
Frequently asked questions
What grafts does ligamentoplasty include?
The two types of grafts most commonly used in ligamentoplasty are the patellar tendon and the hamstring tendons (gracilis muscle and semitendinous muscle).
On the contrary, the use of artificial implants, for which there has been great enthusiasm over the last decades, has now been abandoned, as it has been proven to be associated with high failure rates. The most important thing, however, is that they may cause an inflammatory reaction in the knee, with devastating effects to the joint.
Why have an anterior cruciate ligament ligamentoplasty?
Anterior cruciate ligament ligamentoplasty is generally characterized by excellent functional results and shows significant advantages, such as:
- shorter hospitalization and shorter duration of surgery,
- minimization of postoperative pain and, most importantly,
- faster recovery of the patient and
- faster return to daily activities
How safe is a Knee Arthroscopy with ligamentoplasty?
As a surgery, arthroscopy of the knee with anterior cruciate ligament plastic surgery is considered quite safe. However, its success depends to a large extent on the ability of the surgeon. It requires great precision and fine handling, which is why it presupposes the surgeon’s specialization in this technique as well as significant experience.
What is the postoperative course?
After arthroscopy, the patient remains in the hospital for only 1 to 2 days, while he can get up immediately and walk with the help of crutches. The rehabilitation program includes the gradual recovery of the range of motion, the strengthening of the knee, as well as proprioceptive exercises.
When can I exercise again?
The return to sports activities takes place after a period of 6 to 9 months, which is the minimum time required for the biological integration of the graft.
Why choose Dr. Sakellariou?
Dr. Sakellariou has been highly trained in centers abroad and has extensive experience through numerous surgeries at major US hospitals.
Dr. Sakellariou offers patients suffering from anterior cruciate ligament rupture the most contemporary and safe method for dealing with this problem.