When surgery is carried out for this injury, it involves making a new ligament to take the place of the torn one, and is therefore called “reconstruction”. A variety of techniques are available, however Dr Kennedy usually recommends using two of the hamstring muscle tendons to make the new ligament. The tendons are fashioned into a strong band (“graft”) and secured to the bones through holes or “tunnels” using specially designed fixation devices. Incorporation of the graft is a slow biological process, and preferably the knee must not be stressed through sport for an extended period (usually about one year).
The surgery usually involves an overnight stay in hospital, the use of crutches for about three weeks, with return to normal walking in four to six weeks.