An injury to the ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) in the knee happens with alarming frequency. Each year there are about 30 ACL ruptures per 100,000 people. An ACL rupture can occur during a twisting, or pivoting movement. The sporting activities mostly associated with this injury include football, netball, volley ball and skiing are amongst the most common, "but I have seen many other causes of cruciate ligament rupture", says Consultant Orthopaedic and Sports Knee Specialist Mr Charles Willis-Owen,
Being an elite sports athlete himself, Mr Willis-Owen goes onto to say, "Although the knee will often return to a fairly reasonable state it will still be prone to buckle or give way, frequently at the most inconvenient time. Patients come to me when they cannot trust their knee anymore or if they can no longer do twisting or pivoting sports. In these circumstances, surgery on the knee is often required."
"The unfortunate victim often feels, or even hears a loud pop, or snap at the same time as their knee buckling"
Surgery may not be necessary if the patient avoids twisting and pivoting activities and for some this is their preferred choice. However, if it is important to get back to full capability - if only normal day to day walking - surgery may be the best option.
So, what are the latest treatment options for ACL reconstruction?
Here is a summary, with relevant links: