Frequently Asked Questions

Arthroscopic Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction, Ambulatory Care

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What do I need to know about arthroscopic anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction?

ACL reconstruction is surgery to replace your torn ACL. The ACL is a ligament in your knee that connects the tibia (shin bone) to the femur (thigh bone). Ligaments are strong tissues that connect bones together.

How do I prepare for my surgery?

Your healthcare provider will talk to you about how to prepare for surgery. He may tell you not to eat or drink anything after midnight on the day of your surgery. He will tell you what medicines to take or not take on the day of your surgery.

What will happen during surgery?

  • You may get regional anesthesia that will make you lose feeling in your leg. You may get general anesthesia to keep you asleep and free from pain during surgery. A small incision will be made in your knee. Healthcare providers will use an arthroscope to look inside your knee joint by inserting it through the incision. Additional small incisions will be made in several places around your knee. Tools will be put into these incisions to reconstruct your injured ACL.

  • Another incision will be made if the graft (piece of tendon or muscle) will be taken from another part of your body. The graft will be pulled through a tunnel drilled in your tibia and femur and screws used to hold it. The incisions will be closed with stitches, staples, or tape. A drain may be placed temporarily.

What are the risks of ACL reconstruction?

You may develop an infection or bleed more than expected. You could have trouble breathing or develop blood clots. Even after surgery, the knee may not go back to the way it was before.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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