ACL Reconstruction Surgery

ACL tear involves reconstructing the ligament to restore stability of the knee. The tissue used to replace the ACL is usually borrowed from another part of your knee, (or donated tissue could be used.)

About the Surgery

ACL or Anterior Cruciate Ligament is an important ligament in the knee. A reconstruction is needed when the ACL undergoes any form of major damage.
The surgery replaces the damaged tendon with a healthy one either from the patient or from other alternate sources.

The most commonly used tissue is a portion of your hamstring tendons. The operation is carried out with the aid of an arthroscope, which allows your surgeon to see the entire knee through very small incisions.

  • A loud "pop" or a "popping" sensation in the knee.
  • Severe pain and inability to continue activity.
  • Rapid swelling.
  • Loss of range of motion.
  • A feeling of instability or "giving way" with weight bearing.

A patient in preparation for an ACL reconstruction surgery undergoes-

  • Physical therapy on the damaged area to reduce swelling
  • Fasting the night before the surgery.
  • The patient may be advised to stop particular medications a week before the surgery takes place.

The surgery is a straightforward one where: 

  • Two small incisions are made around the knee. One is to insert the camera so that the surgeon has a visual inside the body and the other is to insert small surgical instruments.
  • The damaged ligament is removed and replaced with a graft, either from another part of the patient’s body or alternte sources.
  • Sockets are drilled into the thigh and knee-bone so as to secure the new graft. It is nothing but a base on which the new ligament will form.

Post surgery, the doctor recommends certain actions so that the patient can effectively recover, those being:

  • The first few days the patient is confined to the bed. While on the bed, the treated leg is elevated with ice being constantly applied on the knee to reduce swelling and pain. 
  • Once the patient can start walking, crutches are used so as to not apply any weight on the treated leg.
  • Knee braces are wrapped around the knee.
  • Painkillers will be prescribed at the discretion of the doctor.

  • A constant knee pain and stiffness felt by the patient after recovery.
  • The graft can poorly heal as there is a chance the body will reject it after identifying it as foreign and an infection can occur.
  • The patient is allowed to return to whichever sports they play. However, there is a chance the graft may fail.

Medfin finds you the best surgeons across India

  • His career spans over 18 years of Orthopaedic experience with special interest in Advance Arthroscopic Surgery, Sports Injuries, Joint replacement and Complex Trauma.
  • His exposure to sports injuries came from London Olympic Hospital 2012 , exposing to vast amount of complex sports injuries on and after London Olympics 2012 .
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Dr Sai Krishna B Naidu
Dr Sai Krishna B Naidu

Consultant - Trauma and Orthopedics

MRCS, Dip. SICOT, FRCS(Ortho), MCh(Ortho), Specialist - Joint Replacements & Sports Injuries. Fellowship - Joint Replacements ( London, UK) Advanced Arthroscopy & sports Injuries ( New York, USA)

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  • Specialist with 9 years of experience in shoulder journey and joint replacement.
  • Dr. Nair is the one of the few, trained hip Arthroscopy surgeons in India
  • Has over 9 years of experience
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Dr Ayyappan Nair
Dr Ayyappan Nair


MBBS, DNB - Orthopedic Surgery, Fellowship in Shoulder & Knee surgery, Fellowship in Arthroscopy & Sports Injury, Fellowship in Joint Replacement

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  • Orthopedist with 15 years of experience.
  • Professor at Sanjay Gandhi Institute of Trauma & Orthopedics
  • Specialized in sports injuries and ACL and PCL arthroscopy
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Dr Madan Ballal
Dr Madan Ballal

Orthopaedics, Sports Medicine Arthroscopic Surgeon

MBBS, MS (Orthopaedics)

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  • Orthopedist with experience in Arthroplasty. Special interest in sports injuries and arthroscopic surgeries of the knee and shoulder
  • .
  • 7+ year of experience
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Dr Harish Puranik
Dr Harish Puranik


MBBS, MS - Orthopedics

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  • Dr. Kiran Chouka has more than 10 Years of Experience in orthopeadic surgeries
  • Expert in Hip Resurfacing Surgery, Minimally Invasive Surgery, Custom-fit Knee Replacement, Uni-Compartmental Knee Replacement, Patello-femoral Replacement.
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Dr Kiran Chouka
Dr Kiran Chouka

Orthopaedic Surgeon

MBBS, MS (Orthopaedics)

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FAQs and Related Articles

Yes, ACL Reconstruction is major surgery. The duration of surgery is 2 to 3 hours and you may take up to six months to recover from it.
You will recover from ACL Reconstruction in stages. After 3 days, you will be able to walk with crutches. After rehabilitation and physiotherapy, you can go back to your regular life. This can take anywhere from 3 weeks to 3 months. The doctor may allow you to return to sports after 6 Months.
Your ACL may get torn or injured due to high pressure on them. This may be caused due to sudden movements or in vehicular accidents. If the injury is small then the injury may heal naturally else you ACL Reconstruction is necessary.
The patient will be under anaesthesia 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).
Between 1 and 2 weeks unless otherwise instructed by your doctor. When you gain muscle control of your leg and feel secure, you can discontinue the crutches.
One to two weeks for a desk-type job; up to three months for moderately physical work; up to six months for strenuous physical work.

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