ACL Reconstruction: Choices are Age-Dependent

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ACL Reconstruction: Choices are Age-Dependent

acl reconstruction

Most athletes are terrified of the idea of a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) as it means the end of their playing season. In spite of this, ACL tears are very common knee injuries and thousands of them happen every year. This has also been observed to occur in younger athletes these days because of a spurt in competitive sports.

For surgical treatment of ACL tears, several choices have to be made. However, recently there has been a lot of importance given to the age of the patient when discussing surgical ACL reconstruction with the expert.

ACL – What it is?

The ACL helps to connect the thigh and shin bones inside the knee. In addition to stabilizing the knee, it also keeps it from rotating or shifting out of position. These injuries typically occur when the person stops suddenly, changes the direction, land incorrectly on a surface, or a collision. Thus, this type of injury is common in sportspersons who have to stop suddenly and then go as in football, gymnastics and basketball. In a majority of the cases, the ligament tears completely into two parts making the knee highly unstable.

However, the patient need not be operated upon for any kind of ACL tear. If you are opting for an ACL reconstruction surgery in Mumbai, then your ACL reconstruction expert would suggest the following:

You need surgery if:

  • You are young and activity levels are high
  • You are a young and you want to continue to play your sport
  • Your knee has additional damage
  • The injury is painful and affecting your day-to-day activities

An ACL tear is one that just cannot be stitched together to heal, surgeons replace the torn ligament with an allograft or autograft. These are different types of tissue grafts. Whereas an autograft is a tendon that is taken from the kneecap or hamstrings of your own body, an allograft is taken from a deceased donor.

There are advantages and disadvantages to both types of grafts and it is a good idea to discuss the options in length with your ACL Reconstruction Expert in Mumbai.

Why age is an important factor?

It has been observed by the medical fraternity that the first-time surgical reconstruction of a torn ACL is likely to have a positive outcome and is dependent on the age of the patient and the type of graft that the patient has received.

Young and active patients are more likely to have successful outcomes after the surgery and when an allograft is used. Only 20% of the reconstructions have been observed to fail in 18-year-olds. However, in the case of autografts, only one in 17 patients’ (18 year-olds) ACL reconstruction surgeries seem to have failed.  Allograft reconstruction success chances are seen to increase when the patients’ age increases.

For 40-year-olds, there is no difference in success rates whether autografts or allografts have been used. The failure rate of allograft vs. autograft is less than 2 percent. Therefore, if you are looking out for ACL Reconstruction Surgery in Mumbai, it is a good idea to discuss the probability of the failure of surgery for an individual of your age and activity levels.

The above discussion is very important because the outcomes are not positive for a second-time intervention if the reconstruction fails, that is, the ligament tears or ruptures again within two years of the first surgery.

After the ACL Reconstruction

Rehabilitation after the ACL reconstruction surgery is important for the restoration of strength and stability of the knees. The physical therapy may have to be done for a long period after the surgery for the following reasons:

  • Restoration of the muscles and joints
  • Knee strengthening for protection of the replaced ligament
  • Restoration of the functionality that you require for your activities

You will also be tutored to protect yourself from this kind of a re-injury with specific warm-up exercises, landing correctly after jumps, and strength training of muscles.

Why Choose Bone & Joints 360?

If you are looking for ACL reconstruction surgery in Mumbai, then the best option for you would be to choose Bone & Joints 360. Here, our team of ACL reconstruction experts would customize the surgery for you based on different factors such your age. The type of graft that would be suitable and the extent of rehabilitation that is required.

Dr. Santosh Shetty
Dr. Santosh Shetty
Specialist in Joint Replacement and Trauma Surgery with more than 15 years of experience.

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