Anatomic ACL reconstruction is an innovative and unique technique for replacing a damaged anterior cruciate ligament. The procedure itself involves placing the new ligament in the identical anatomic position as the original one. The two different variations are a “single-bundle” or a “double-bundle” reconstruction. That terminology simply refers to the quantity of grafts that will be used to recreate the ACL.
Benefits of anatomic ACL reconstruction:
- The new ACL will perform and function much like the ligament with which the patient was born. The patient will have more regular biomechanical knee function.
- There will be much less chance of a recurring injury to the same knee.
An anatomic ACL reconstruction is able to duplicate the native movement of the knee much better than a typical, non-anatomic, single-bundle reconstruction. The native anterior cruciate ligament controls both the flexion and extension of the knee. An anatomic reconstruction surgery has been proven throughout biomechanical studies as being far superior in stabilizing knee flexion and extension. Theoretically, the increased control will decrease the risk of further injury or degeneration of that knee.
What is used to construct the new ACL?
Typically, tissue from that patient will be used, and it will normally be tissue from the hamstring or the patella tendon. The decision concerning what to use will be based on an examination and the patient’s medical history.
Is there any difference in the rehab from this type of surgery?
No. Rehabilitation will be handled in much the same manner, and many aspects may actually be easier after an anatomic ACL reconstruction.
Is there a downside to this procedure?
The procedure is technically more demanding, but can be overcome by choosing a surgeon with extensive experience with this particular technique, so he can properly identify the origin of the native ACL, and therefore, know where the insertion sites will need to be.