Acl Reconstruction Hamstring Method

What is the ACL reconstruction hamstring method?

The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is a crucial ligament responsible for stabilising the knee by connecting the thighbone to the shinbone. The ACL is at risk of tearing due to high-impact sports such as rugby and tennis. As a result, your orthopaedic surgeon will remove a portion of the hamstring tendon from your leg to recreate the torn or badly damaged anterior cruciate ligament. The hamstring is an essential muscle situated at the back of the thigh.

How does Dr van Niekerk reconstruct the anterior cruciate ligament using the individual’s hamstring?

Dr van Niekerk performs ACL reconstruction using a small portion of your hamstring to repair the torn ACL. Firstly, he creates 5-10mm cuts over the knee. An arthroscope, a small tube with a camera attached to the end, is inserted through one of the incisions. Afterwards, Dr van Niekerk pumps a clean fluid into the joint to see clearly. While the knee remains bent, he feels for hamstring tendons. Next, Dr van Niekerk will make a cut over the hamstring tendon, which forms an attachment to the tibia. He then strips the tendons from the muscle and prepares the graft. After removing the severed ACL, he prepares the new pathway and reinserts the arthroscope through one of the cuts. Then, he creates holes in the leg bones that form the knee joint using a drill. The holes serve as tunnels for the new graft to be placed. The graft is guided through holes within the leg bones (tibia and femur). Finally, endobuttons are used to fix the tendon to the bone. The procedure is carried out for the new ligament to heal within the bone.

Finally, Dr van Niekerk seals the incisions using sutures and applies a dressing for the area to heal.

What can I expect in terms of my recovery?

A brace or immobiliser may be suggested to protect the knee, along with a prescription for pain relief. Physical therapy and rehabilitation are essential to regain knee strength, flexibility, and range of motion. Dr van Niekerk will arrange several follow-up visits to track your development and evaluate your knee function. Imaging procedures like MRIs and X-rays may also be carried out to assess the healing process.


How long does the ACL reconstruction hamstring method take?

The procedure will take between one and two hours.

How long does it take to heal from ACL reconstruction using the hamstring method?

Recovery from ACL reconstruction using the hamstring method will take several months.

How does the hamstring method differ from other ACL reconstruction techniques?

Instead of using a graft from a donor, the hamstring method for ACL reconstruction employs a graft from your hamstring tendons to repair the damaged ACL.