The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is one of four ligaments in the knee joint. The ligament connects the distal or lower head of the femur, or long bone of the thigh to the upper end of the tibia or shinbone at the knee. The ligament is extremely important in knee joint stability and can be damaged through fast changes in direction as well as pivoting or twisting movements, as is common in many sports. The ACL surgery procedure replaces the damaged ligament with a graft of your hamstring or kneecap tendon that is inserted in its place.
Your ACL surgery is done under a regional or general anesthesia, depending on your constitution and your doctor's recommendation.
Surgery on a torn anterior cruciate ligament is generally performed on an outpatient basis. You should be able to go home and recuperate several hours after the surgery. Surgical repairs of the ACL are done today with an arthroscope, a thin, flexible fiberoptic scope about the diameter of a drinking straw introduced in a very small (about 1/8 inch) incision in the knee joint.