Reconstructive ACL surgery is usually done with an arthroscope, a tiny camera or scope that is inserted into the knee through a small surgical cut. Other small cuts around the knee are also made by the surgeon in order to insert various additional medical instruments. The operation poses no significant risk of bleeding. During ACL surgery, the surgeon may repair other injured parts of the knee as well, such as menisci, meniscus or articular cartilage, other knee ligaments, or broken bones.
ACL repair is typically an outpatient procedure done under general anesthesia (or in some cases regional spinal anesthesia). After surgery, a knee brace and/or crutches may be required for 1 to 4 weeks. Much of the success of ACL reconstructive surgery (i.e. regaining knee motion and strength) depends on the patient's dedication to rigorous physical therapy, lasting 4 to 6 months or more.