St Petersburg ACL Reconstruction
ACL tears are one of the most common injuries that sports medicine doctors treat. ACL injuries usually happen during sports or other types of exercise, most often when you’ve landed badly after jumping, suddenly changed direction or taken a direct hit to your knee. Depending on your age, activity level and the severity of your injury, you might be able to recover from an ACL tear without surgical repair.
However, if you’re an athlete or your knee is buckling during your regular activity, you would benefit from proceeding with ACL reconstruction surgery by a St Petersburg orthopedic doctor.
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During ACL Surgery
ACL reconstruction is usually performed under general anesthesia, which means you’ll need to stop eating and drinking the night before. Our staff will discuss the specific restrictions you’ll need to follow at your pre-op appointment. ACL reconstruction is an outpatient procedure, so you’ll be able to go home the same day. Since you’ll be under anesthesia, you’ll need to have someone drive you home.
During surgery, Dr. Ragsdell will remove the damaged ACL tissue and replace it with a grafted tendon. The new tendon will either come from a deceased donor or another part of your knee, usually your hamstring or your kneecap. Then, he will make tunnels in the bone and attach the new ligament with screws. As you heal, the space in the bone will fill in, and this will hold the new ligament in place. Dr. Ragsdell specializes in arthroscopic ACL reconstruction surgery, which allows him to use smaller incisions to insert surgical tools. One of those tools is a camera, which gives Dr. Ragsdell and his team a good view of your knee without requiring a larger incision.
After ACL Surgery
You should be able to go home the same day as your surgery, once you’ve recovered from anesthesia. Before you’re discharged, we’ll make sure you’re comfortable walking on crutches and review the instructions you’ll need to follow for optimal healing. At home, you’ll need to keep your knee elevated, use ice and rest as much as possible. The Regenesis team will give you specific instructions for your recovery period.
As you recover, you’ll need to undergo more physical therapy. This will help gradually strengthen the muscles around your knee and let you regain flexibility and range of motion. Most people have close to their normal range of motion within a few weeks, but a full recovery can take 8 to 12 months. The arthroscopic procedure means you’ll recover faster than you would with an older surgical technique. Tendon grafts of your own tissue usually take a bit longer to heal, but they can have better results in the long run.