A Guide to Knee Ligament Repair& Reconstruction

Knee ligament issues may affect how you walk and pose other health-related hazards. They are common injuries among athletes and mainly occur during sporting activities. They also result due to wear and tear over time. Knee ligament issues often result from sports involving sudden stops, changes in direction, or jumping and may require surgery.

If you suffer from such injuries, you may have challenges performing activities requiring knee turns or twisting. In this case, you may need knee ligament repair by an orthopedic surgeon.

Understanding knee ligament repair

Knee ligament repair or reconstruction is a procedure that helps address injuries to the knee ligaments in the joint. The knee joint features four main ligaments that help provide stability and support during movement. These are;

  • Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL)
  • Posterior cruciate ligament (PCL)
  • Medial collateral ligament (MCL)
  • Lateral collateral ligament (LCL)

Knee ligament repair involves stitching torn or damaged ligaments to restore structural integrity. This is mostly practical for minor injuries, and the procedure can help restore torn ends with minimal tension.

Similarly, ligament reconstruction is viable when the torn ligaments can’t be adequately repaired. The procedure involves. Replacing the damaged ligament with a graft from the patient’s tissues, such as the hamstring and quadriceps tendons.

 Who needs knee ligament repair?

You qualify for knee ligament repair after sustaining significant damage to your knee ligaments. The common knee ligaments requiring repair are the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and the posterior cruciate ligament (PCL). The medial collateral ligament (MCL) and the lateral collateral ligament (LCL) may also need repair.

People who commonly require knee repair include;

  • Athletes

 Knee ligament injuries are common among athletes, primarily those who engage in sports involving quick changes in direction, jumping, or physical contact. Sporting activities such as football, soccer, basketball, skiing, and rugby are associated with a higher risk of knee ligament injuries.

  • Active individuals

 Individuals who lead an active lifestyle or engage in recreational activities that exert stress on the knee joint may have a higher risk of ligament injury. Knee ligament injuries may result from accidents and falls.

  • Seniors

Ligament damage can occur due to degenerative changes over time, especially in older adults.

Not all patients suffering from knee injuries require surgery. Minor ligament strains or sprains can be managed through conservative treatments such as rest, physical therapy, and bracing. But, surgical repair or reconstruction may be recommended in cases of complete ligament tears.

Post-care tips after knee ligament repair

Post-care is vital after knee ligament repair and will help ensure a successful recovery. The surgeon will guide you on how to care for your knee after treatment. The instructions may vary depending on the type o repair and other factors.

 The general post-care tips may include;

  • Rest and protection– Allow your knee adequate time to heal and avoid excreting pressure on the knee.
  • Icing– Apply ice packs regularly to relieve swelling and pain
  • Compression– Wear a compression bandage to control swelling and support the knee.
  • Elevation-Elevate your leg above heart level while resting; this will help minimize swelling.
  • Pain management& physical therapy-Take the prescribed medications and follow a physical therapy program as your surgeon advises.

Final thoughts 

 Knee ligament issues may vary in terms of severity. After incurring such injuries, you should get examined to determine the type of treatment required. Early diagnosis and care will help avoid complications that may necessitate expensive treatment.

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