ACL Reconstruction Surgery


With the recent buzz about famous athletes experiencing an ACL tear, You might ask what are they, and why does it take so long to recover? Well, I can tell you firsthand that it’s not only a time consuming recovery process but is also something that is a recurring issue in hardworking athletes. This recently happened to me about 3-4 months ago, so you can say I’ve been through it all. This blog is about my encounters, the surgery, recovery time, and other important interesting facts about my story and ACL tears.

ACL stands for the Anterior Cruciate Ligament. It is located in between the thigh bone (femur) and the Tibia bone. This ligament controls some of the movement and bending in your knee. Without it your leg can buckle or sometimes move out of place causing other things to be damaged. It is basically in simplified terms a ligament used for stability in the joint for movement. An ACL can be torn by s sudden stop in motion or twisting your leg in an unnatural way. I’ll give you a little background on the topic before I jump into my story and other facts. If you are to tear your ACL the recovery time is 6-8 months. The reason why it’s so long is you must work on gaining your range of motion back.  (Remember that it’s a tendon they take, so it has to prepare itself and become a ligament.)  You also have to gain all the strength back in your hamstrings and other muscles that has depleted due to not being as active as you were before the surgery. (A big thing for me was to work on my hip flexures, this helps you land properly and take the impact better.) Also to get all your flexibility back, and many other factors.  You could say that with suffering from an ACL tear it’s not something that can get better right away.

The procedure I had done was a one hour operation. It’s called the Hamstring tendon graph reconstruction. What the doctor did was take a hamstring tendon from the back of my thigh since that is where it’s located and then cut out one to two strips depending on the strength of them. Hamstrings can heal on themselves while ligaments cannot. Three incisions were made on my knee. One was used to extract the Hamstring Tendon and the other were used to take my torn ACL out and put my soon to be one back in! After they strung the Hamstring they put two small metal clasps on each side to secure it in place. I woke up an hour later feeling groggy and the anesthesia doesn’t give you the greatest feeling after. Overall the surgery went great and I’m glad to say there hasn’t been anything from stopping me from recovering.

Here are a few facts about ACL tears that I’ve learned from having many doctors’ appointments. ACL tears most commonly happen to women. You can have it torn by twisting it the wrong way while landing or having somebody pushed into you. You are also more at risk in the first ten months of your surgery of tearing your other Anterior Cruciate Ligament. Symptoms of an ACL tear are extreme swelling, your knee giving out at random times, feeling a strain in the joint, or having it bruised. There is much more but those are the symptoms I personally had. Having your ACL torn is not something fun; the recovery time is also very frustrating.

Overall I’ve learned many facts about the knee, the procedure, and how to prevent it. If I haven’t mentioned yet in the moment it does happen you can have other tings happen like a small part of your shock absorber tore, your meniscus tore, or other ligaments. That has also happened to me. With famous athletes having there ACL tear you now know that it’s a long process. Let’s hope for the new theories out there on potentially making a way for ACL tears recovery time to be shorter. Thanks for reading this article; I hope you’ve enjoyed this entry.

What do you think of ACL tears?

Do you know somebody that’s had a ACL tear happen to them?

Are ACL tears more common in women or men?

4 thoughts on “ACL Reconstruction Surgery

  1. Nice article Kalley. I did not know that woman are more likely to suffer an ACL tear than men can. I liked how the video explained how the procedure is and the length of the procedure. I read in a different article that there are different levels to an ACL tear. There is partial, complete and avulsion and depending on the level, the healing time changes. I also learned form the video that pressure on the knee affects how bad the ACL tear is. Thanks for writing this blog as it caught my attention. I enjoyed reading the article. Good job.

  2. I had no idea what ACL even stood for. I hear it all of the time where an athlete tears their ACL. Now I know what actually happened. They take your hamstring and put that as your new ACL?? That’s so weird but also very cool. There is other information that I leaned from another website. I didn’t know that the surgery could have many side effects. I always thought it was an easy operation. Clearly I was wrong, there are many possibilities of something going wrong.Failure of the surgery to relieve symptoms, Injury to a nearby blood vessel, Pain in the knee, Stiffness of the knee or lost range of motion are some effects.

  3. You are right. ACL tears are horrible and they do take a long time to recover. When you have an ACL tear it is very time consuming and most of the time you can not do the things you love for a long time. When I was younger my dad was playing around with my brother outside and he heard a noise and he just instantly fell to the ground. He went to the doctor a couple days later and they said that it was nothing. Not long after that his whole leg got super bruised. He didn’t get any treatment for this, but when he went back to the doctor about a year later the doctor told him that he tore his ACL and should have had surgery. Now he is weaker in that leg and has a bulge where the muscle has built up around the injury. 70,000 to 80,000 ACL tears are reported each year in the United States. that is a lot and I feel bad for those people!

  4. I loved this article Kalley! I didn’t know that by tearing your ACL was a long process to have. If my ACL was teared I wouldn’t know what to do. The video was really cool, and i learned so much from reading your article. ACL tears happen to women more than men, because women are built differently from men. (here is where i found that out) Thanks for sharing your story about how you tore your ACL.

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