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Questions about anterior cruciate ligament surgery

Surgery systematically performed on an outpatient basis except for particular problems (patient living alone, associated medical problem, etc.).

Care is organized as soon as you return home at 6 p.m. with a nursing follow-up managed by specialized companies, which ensures better safety for the patient.

The use of a pressocryotherapy machine for about ten days after the operation helps limit edema and hematomas.

The patient can walk with crutches, which will only be needed for about 10 days depending on the recovery of the quadriceps muscle. Normal walking and driving are usually possible after 3 weeks. In case of collateral ligaments’ injury or meniscal suture, the splint should be kept at least 4 weeks. Regular physiotherapy is recommended.
The postoperative process can be summarized in four main steps:
– 1 month after surgery, normal walking and driving are possible;
– 2 months after surgery, patients can start running again;
– t3 months after surgery, patients can sprint and use lateral supports;
– 4 months after surgery, patients can resume training and high impact sports.
These periods vary depending on patients’ clinical course and several tests the surgeon perform. Training and high impact sports will only be allowed after an isokinetic evaluation shows at least 85{88b696bf2700d12398c30964f41039de701ab1baffac505c8144f3e2e2571fd4} of muscle recovery compared to the healthy limb.

An intra-articular effusion might require draining of the knee. A hematoma on the thigh may occur, after removal of the tendon specimens. Phlebitis should be detected and treated. In some cases, there may be a strain close to where the tendon grafts were taken. Postoperative infection may occur a week after surgery; this requires cleansing of the area through arthroscopy, along with antibiotic treatment. An algodystrophy (vasomotorium disruption) can occur close to the operated area, causing pain and slowing down the rehabilitation process. It usually declines in the following months. Articular stiffness is possible, either spontaneously or resulting from the algodystrophy. Repeated rupture of the graft is possible in 2 to 3{88b696bf2700d12398c30964f41039de701ab1baffac505c8144f3e2e2571fd4} of cases.