Important Things to Know Before You Undergo ACL Surgery


‘Curiosity is at the very core of being human’, & we as human beings will tend to ask questions. We, as rational human beings, are often anxious about anything we are doing for the first time. And ACL repair surgery being done for the first time, we tend to pop – up with several questions. And one important question being ‘What are the things which we need to take care of before undergoing ACL Repair surgery?

First let’s get an overview of the ACL repair surgery & how does it occur?
The ACL is a common sport-associated injury which occurs in about 200,000 individuals yearly. This injury occurs mostly among those who are keen players of basketball, tennis and soccer. The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is one of the four ligaments in the knee, which  primarily work towards achieving stability in the knee. It is located in the center and is made of a very strong tissue called collagen. The ACL keeps our knee stable for sports involving pivoting, turning and twisting at rapid speeds.  The ligament is actually made up of two bundles of ligament tissue.

While the ligaments maintain the balance of the knee activity, a sudden twisting incident may cause the ligament tear in knee. This is associated with a swelling that takes place within a few hours of the ligament tear in knee making it difficult for the patient to stand up.

One question that pops up every now and then in case of ACL surgery is ‘Do I really need to undergo ACL Surgery?’ And the answer is depends. If you are a young and athletic who participates in sports including cutting, pivoting, turning and twisting there is a strong likelihood that you will require ACL surgery, but if you’re older, and willing to modify your lifestyle to suit your limitations, then you may avoid it.

Generally speaking, autograft i.e tissue from one’s own body is the best tissue which can be used for repair as it is infection – free unlike allograft i.e. tissue from a cadaver. Unless there is a strong reason on why cannot you use your own tissue then you should not use allograft.

In the autograft category, we have two main choices – a portion of hamstring tendon or a portion of patella tendon. Both grafts work well and stand the test of time. You must decide with the surgeon which graft to go ahead.

So, things to take care to alleviate the pain are –

  1. Stop all kinds of sport-related activity and make an appointment with the doctor
  2. Keep an ice pack on the knee
  3. Take pain relievers
  4. Use crutches for walking, since the swelling will not improve otherwise
  5. The doctor will also recommend a physiotherapist to avoid soreness in the legs

India is digitizing very fast & there has been a boon in digitizing in the healthcare sector too & people can now find good doctor – hospital combination & book surgery packages online.

Pre – surgery it is beneficial to lower your weight in order to decrease the strain on the knee. Quit smoking in order to lower the risk of blood clots. It is beneficial to follow some dos and don’ts in order to help in recovery.