Here are some FAQs about ACL reconstruction or PCL reconstruction surgery.
In this article, we have tried to answer such questions.
FAQ 1: Can Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) injury or Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL) injury heal itself?
Ans. Just like most human body parts, ACL or PCL can heal itself by fibrosis, but only when the injury is very small. Even though the tissue is healed, it will not be able to withstand the shearing force that a human body has to endure. Hence, in some situations, surgery may be the best choice. It is always advisable to consult a doctor to know the best treatment option for an ACL injury or PCL injury.
FAQ 2: What is an ACL reconstruction or PCL reconstruction?
Ans. ACL or PCL injury may occur while playing sports or during an accident. The only treatment option for ACL injury or PCL injury is surgical reconstruction of ACL or PCL. In this surgical reconstruction, the surgeon removes the injured PCL or ACL, then he/she uses a portion of the ligament from Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) to reconstruct the ACL or PCL.
FAQ 3: What are the necessary steps to be taken to avoid problems after surgery?
Ans. The necessary steps that the patient has to take after surgery are:
- The patient has to take rest in bed for a few days.
- While in bed, the leg has to be elevated (Ice is applied to help with pain and swelling).
- Crutches are provided to the patient in order to decrease the weight on the leg while walking.
- The patient may have to wear knee braces.
- The doctor may prescribe medicines to manage the pain.
- The doctor will suggest physiotherapy for 3 weeks to 3 months.
- Once the doctor feels confident about patient’s recovery, the patient can start playing sports. This will usually take 3 months to 6 months.
FAQ 4: What is the recovery time after ACL reconstruction or PCL reconstruction?
Ans. After the surgery, the patient will slowly recover in stages. The recovery will usually progress in the following way:
- The patient will have to stay in bed for a few days after the reconstruction.
- After that, the patient can start walking with the help of knee braces and crutches.
- The patient has to undergo physiotherapy for a few weeks (3 weeks) to a few months (ideally 3 months) after which they can get back to their regular lifestyle.
- After 6 months the doctor may permit the patient to get back to sports.
FAQ 5: How long will it take to walk after ACL reconstruction or PCL reconstruction?
Ans. The patient can start walking 3 to 4 days after ACL reconstruction or PCL reconstruction. In some cases, when the surgeon is confident, he/she may allow the patient to walk on the same day of surgery but with the help of crutches and knee braces.
FAQ 6: What happens if ACL injury or PCL injury is left ignored?
Ans. If ACL injury or PCL injury is left ignored, then the patient may start to experience instability in the knee. The patient may not be able to walk properly, climb properly or run confidently. The injury may put extra pressure on the knee which may lead to osteoarthritis.
FAQ 7: How painful is ACL reconstruction or PCL reconstruction?
Ans. The patient will be under anesthesia during the surgery, hence the patient will not experience any pain. After the surgery, the patient may have pain for which the doctor may prescribe medicines (which will have painkillers).
FAQ 8: Are there screws in ACL reconstruction or PCL reconstruction?
Ans. Yes, there are screws involved in ACL or PCL Reconstruction. The surgeon will use screws to hold the ligament in the place. The good thing is that these screws are bio-absorb able which means the body will be able to absorb the screws in a time period of one or two years.
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