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The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is a band of tissue that joins the thigh bone to the shin bone at the knee joint. It gives your knee joint stability and helps control the back-and-forth movement of your lower leg. ACL is one of the most common ligaments to get damaged due to sports, falls, or accidents. This ligament can get damaged when it stretches or tears, especially when you move suddenly while running or jumping. When your ACL is damaged, you may have trouble walking or playing sports, and it can be really painful. If the damage of your ACL affects your quality of life, you may want to consider surgical treatment.
During knee ligament surgery, you will be given either general anesthetic or spinal anesthetic. Then, your surgeon will examine the inside of your knee with an arthroscopy. The arthroscope will be inserted through a small incision to view inside the joint. After confirming the torn ligament, your surgeon will remove your torn ACL and puts a graft tissue in its place. The graft may be taken from other parts of your body, such as your patellar tendon or hamstring tendon, and they may also use one from a deceased donor. The new ligament is positioned at the same place where the previous ligament was located with the help of staples or screws that will remain in your knee permanently. After the surgery, the incisions will be closed with stitches.
The surgery can take around 1 to 1.5 hours. You will need to stay in the hospital for one day. After being discharged, you are required to visit your surgeon regularly. Therefore, you need to stay in the Switzerland for at least 1-2 weeks after surgery. Full recovery time can take between 6 to 9 months. You are not allowed to play any sports during the recovery period, but if you are doing office work, you can go back to work within 2-3 weeks. The success rate for this surgery is between 85% to 90%.