One of the most common problems orthopedic surgeons treat today is anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears and ruptures. These injuries are common in athletes who participate in high risk games like soccer, football, volleyball, basketball, skiing etc. that involve brutal deceleration movements like twisting, pivoting, jumping, sudden stop or sudden change of direction.
The treatments of choice for ACL injuries are ACL reconstruction (ligamentoplasty) and ACL repair (suturing).
Reconstruction intervention uses graft (eg patellar tendon); one of the hamstring tendons (eg gracilis muscles); Egypt allograft tissue taken from a deceased donor to replace the damaged ligament.
Repair surgery involves reattaching the torn ACL to the bone.
Many healthcare professionals use arthroscopic technique instead of conventional open method to both reconstruct and repair the injured ligament. This is because this minimally invasive technique helps them to diagnose and treat knee joint injuries more accurately.
In the Greek word 'arthroscopy', 'arthro' means 'joint' and 'scopy' means 'to view', literally meaning 'to look within the joint.' It is a keyhole surgery that many orthopedic surgeons use to examine the internal structure of a joint for diagnosis or treatment for such problems as swelling, stiffness and injuries in the wrists, elbows, shoulders, knees and ankles. The technique of arthroscopy can also be used to repair damages to the joint, reconstructive torn cartilage or ligament, remove fragments of broken bone or cartilage and fix frozen shoulder.
Arthroscopic ACL Surgery
During arthroscopic ACL reconstruction or repair surgery, an orthopedic surgeon makes a couple of small incisions (about the size of a buttonhole) around the knee and then injects sterile saline solution into the knee through one portal to expand it for clear viewing and to rinse away any cloudy fluid from the area to be treated.
During arthroscopic ACL reconstruction, the surgeon inserts arthroscope, a small tube-like instrument that contains optical fibers and lenses, into the joint through one incision. Through other incisions small surgical drills are inserted to repair the torn ligament or replace the severely injured ligament with a graft.
The arthroscope magnifies and lightens the inside structures of the knee, allowing the surgeon to see the interior of the joint more clearly. This instrument is connected to a TV monitor in the operating room and transmits pictures from inside the knee to the video screen.
In the ACL reconstruction surgery, the surgeon will remove torn ligament with a shaver inserted into the joint through one surgical cut. If the tissue is taken from your own body (autograft), a larger cut will be needed to remove the tissue. The surgeon also makes tunnels in the femur and tibia allowing passage of the graft. This removed tissue is then grafted in the same position as the damaged ACL. The graft is secured with screws or staples and incisions are closed with stitches.
To repair the torn ligament in the center of your knee, the surgeon will repair the torn the ligament and any other injured parts of the knee using the same technique.
How is Arthroscopy Surgery Done?
This form of surgery is done using general anesthesia, which means the patient will be sleep through the procedure; spinal or epidural anesthetic. The surgery is most often performed as an outpatient procedure. The whole procedure generally takes between one and two hours to complete.
Why Choose Arthroscopic Method?
Ideally, it is generally safe and a minimally invasive procedure which allows for minimal post-surgical pain, less scarring, significant reduction of the hospitalization, faster healing process, minimum amount of time to return to work / school and routine activities and increased strength and range of motion of the knee as early as the first two weeks after the operation.