The anterior cruciate ligament is a ligament in the center of the knee that prevents the shin bone (tibia) from moving forward on the femur (thigh bone). A tear of this ligament can cause the knee to give way during physical activity. If a torn ACL is left untreated, cartilage damage and early arthritis may occur.
ACL reconstruction is surgery to replace the torn ligament. The procedure is usually performed by having a camera inserted into the knee, which is known as knee arthroscopy. The camera is connected to a video monitor. The surgeon evaluates the cartilage and ligaments of the knee by viewing the monitor. Additional small incisions are made around the knee to put the new ligament in place. If the patient's own tissue is to be used for the new ligament, a larger incision will be made to take the tissue. The new ligament is then fixed to the bone using screws or other devices.
Double Bundle ACL Reconstruction
Double bundle ACL reconstruction is considered a new beginning for ACL repair. Dr. Mark Romzek, who joined the staff of the Viroqua Center for Orthopaedic Surgery in 2009, is considered a pioneer in this type of surgery. The double bundle procedure more closely replicates the normal anatomy of the ACL. This replication could improve knee motion, resulting in more normal functioning and reducing the incidence of degenerative arthritis. Because this is a new procedure, long term results are not yet available.