Knee ACL Reconstruction

Diagram of Anterior Cruciate Ligament injury
Inset diagram of Anterior Cruciate Ligament injury

Anterior Cruciate Ligament injury

The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is a band of tough fibrous tissue that runs through the middle of the knee. The ACL is one of four main ligaments within the knee that connect the femur to the tibia. It provides stability to the knee joint. It is one of the key stabilising ligaments and is important for overall function of the knee.

The ACL can be vulnerable to serious injury during collision and physical sports as the mechanism can be hyperextended or over straightened causing a tear. Usually the knee buckles and gives way sometimes a snapping or popping sensation may be heard associated with intense pain in the knee. It is often difficult to weight bear on the knee afterwards and the swelling of the knee is usually immediate.

The acute treatment for an ACL rupture is Rest, Ice, Crutches and Elevation (RICE). Over a few weeks the knee usually settles and regains the ability to weight bear. Often the feeling of instability or insecurity of the knee can improve over time. The knee may perform satisfactorily when walking, running in a straight line, however twisting and turning the knee may cause more injury to the knee with recurrent swelling and damage to knee cartilages and other structures within the knee joint.

Surgery for ACL repair may be performed at either Hollywood or Glengarry Hospital. Your anaesthetist will visit on the day of your procedure following admission. There is not normally a need to consult with the anaesthetist prior to the operation day, but we do suggest you make contact if you have had any of the following:
  • Head or Heart Surgery
  • Lapband Insitu
  • Blood Thinning Medication
  • Relevant Medical History.
Watch the Video: ACL Reconstruction Hamstring Method.

During surgery

During your surgery an arthroscope will be introduced to the knee to confirm the diagnosis of an ACL rupture. Once confirmed, the cruciate ligament is reconstructed from harvested hamstring tendons. These are inserted across the knee through the original sites of the old ruptured ACL. The ACL tendon is then fixed to the bone with a surgical pin, screw and/or staples.

After surgery

Woman with knee brace assisted by physiotherapist
Following surgery you will be transferred to the recovery room where you will be monitored by nursing staff. There will be a large bulky dressing applied over drains to your knee. The bulky dressing will be reduced and the drains will be removed after a couple of days.

Most patients remain in hospital one night following surgery and use crutches for approximately two to four weeks. A physiotherapist will assist you to rehabilitate your knee following an ACL reconstruction.
See additional post-operative instructions here.

At home

Once home, the outer bandage may be re-tightened and then removed after 7 days. The arthroscopic portals will have been closed with sutures and steri-strips applied to protect the wound.

Keep the operative site dry until your post-operative appointment with Mr Kozak.

Please phone Mr Kozak’s rooms on 9381 3084 to schedule a post-operative appointment for 10 days following surgery.

Depending on work environments, most patients return to work 3–4 weeks after ACL reconstructive surgery. Medical certificates can be written upon request at the first post-operative appointment.

Surgical Appointments

Hollywood Hospital
Monash Avenue
WA 6008

Glengarry Hospital
53 Arnisdale Road
WA 6023

Practice Details

Please Call (08) 9381 3084 for an appointment.
Fax: (08) 9381 3054
or email us

Level 2, 280 Rokeby Road
WA 6008

Sports Medicine Centre
1/64 Arnisdale Road
WA 6023

Opening Hours
Open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm

Subiaco rooms

Duncraig rooms

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