Knee surgery, anterior cruciate ligament
In over 80% of cases, surgery to repair an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) fully restores the functioning of the knee.
ACL surgery will improve the stability of your knee and stop it giving way. You should be able to resume normal activities after six months.
However, your knee may not be exactly like it was before the injury. You may still experience some pain and swelling in the replacement ligament. If other structures in your knee are also damaged, it may not be possible to fully repair them.
As with all types of surgery, there are some risks associated withknee surgery. They include:
After ACL surgery, there's also a small chance (less than 10%) that the newly grafted ligament will fail and your knee will still be unstable.
If the first operation isunsuccessful, further surgery may be recommended. However, subsequent operations are often more difficult and don't usually have the same long-term success rate as a first tendon repair.
Read about how an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury is caused, and the considerations when deciding whether to have reconstructive surgery.
Read about the things you need to consider when deciding whether to have knee surgery, including your age, lifestyle, occupation and whether you play sports.
Information about preparing for knee surgery, including having physiotherapy to regain strength and mobility in your knee, and attending a pre-admission clinic.
Read about how anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) surgery is carried out, either using tissue taken from your own body (autograft) or tissue taken from a donor (allograft).
Read about the possible risks of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) surgery, including pain and swelling in the replacement ligament, infection or a blood clot.
Find out about recovering from anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) knee surgery, including advice about physiotherapy, gentle exercises and using painkillers.