The anterior cruciate ligament, or ACL, is a crucial part of the knee joint. It helps to stabilize the knee and prevent excessive movement. Unfortunately, the ACL can be easily injured, especially during sports or other physical activities. If you have recently suffered an ACL injury, you may be considering ACL reconstruction surgery.

What is ACL Reconstruction?

ACL reconstruction is a surgical procedure that involves replacing the damaged ACL with a new, artificial ligament. This is done through a small incision in the knee, and the new ligament is typically made from a tissue graft. The tissue graft can be taken from another part of your body, such as the patellar tendon or hamstring, or it can be an allograft, which is a tissue graft from a donor.

The goal of ACL reconstruction surgery is to restore stability to the knee and improve its function. It is typically recommended for patients who are physically active and want to return to sports or other high-impact activities.

What to Expect Before and After Surgery

Before your ACL reconstruction surgery, you will meet with your surgeon to discuss the procedure and your specific case. They will go over the risks and benefits of the surgery, as well as any other treatment options that may be available to you.

You will also need to prepare for the surgery by following any pre-operative instructions provided by your surgeon. This may include stopping certain medications, not eating or drinking after a certain time, and arranging for transportation to and from the hospital.

After the surgery, you will need to follow a rehabilitation program to help you recover and regain strength in your knee. This may include physical therapy and exercises to improve range of motion and strength. The recovery process can take several months, and you may need to use crutches or a knee brace for a period of time.

It's important to follow your surgeon's and physical therapist's instructions closely to ensure the best possible outcome.

Risks and Complications

As with any surgery, there are risks and potential complications associated with ACL reconstruction. These may include infection, bleeding, nerve damage, and scarring. Your surgeon will discuss these risks with you in more detail before the surgery.

It's also important to note that while ACL reconstruction surgery can be very successful, there is a risk that the new ligament may fail or the knee may become unstable again. This may require additional surgery in the future.


ACL reconstruction surgery can be an effective treatment option for patients who have suffered an ACL injury and want to return to high-impact activities. It's important to carefully consider the risks and benefits of the surgery and follow all instructions for pre- and post-operative care to ensure the best possible outcome. If you have any questions or concerns about ACL reconstruction, be sure to discuss them with your surgeon.