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.
Anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction (ACL reconstruction) is a surgical tissue graft replacement of the anterior cruciate ligament, located in the knee, to restore its function after anterior cruciate ligament injury. The torn ligament is removed from the knee before the graft is inserted through a hole created by a single hole punch. The surgery is performed arthroscopically.
An ACL reconstruction is sometimes referred to, incorrectly, as an ACL repair. A torn anterior cruciate ligament cannot be “repaired”, and must instead be reconstructed with a tissue graft replacement.