Acl Reconstruction Patellar Tendon

What is ACL reconstruction of the patellar tendon?

ACL reconstruction of the patellar tendon is a surgical treatment that includes grafting your patellar tendon into the knee to replace a badly damaged anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). The patellar tendon serves as the link between the patella and the tibia. The strength and longevity of the graft make ACL patellar tendon reconstruction a widely applied treatment.

How does Dr van Niekerk perform the procedure?

Under general anaesthesia, patellar tendon-based ACL reconstruction is frequently carried out. The patellar tendon will then be exposed via a tiny incision made by Dr van Niekerk over the front of the knee. Next, he removes the patellar tendon, along with the bony ends. He then shapes the bone plugs so they are smooth and curved. Dr van Niekerk then drills tunnels into the femur and tibia bones to create a passageway for the graft to be threaded through. The graft is inserted into the tunnels within the bone and is then fastened with screws or other fixation devices. Afterwards, the incision is stitched or stapled shut, and a sterile bandage is put on.

What is recovery like?

Generally, you can expect knee pain and swelling in the first two weeks following surgery. The knee should be elevated to decrease swelling, and you may need crutches to walk. Range of motion exercises may commence during physical therapy sessions. Soon you will begin walking without crutches and undergo more intensive physical treatment to enhance the range of motion of the joint. For a safe and successful return to exercise, it's crucial to adhere to the rehabilitation schedule suggested by Dr van Niekerk and your physical therapist. Recovery from surgery aims to reduce swelling and pain and enable you to regain complete extension of your knee. Your physical therapist will work closely with you by offering exercises to strengthen and tone your quadriceps muscles.


How long does ACL reconstruction of the patellar tendon take?

The procedure takes an hour or two for Dr van Niekerk to complete.

How long does it take to heal from ACL reconstruction using the patellar tendon?

The recovery process can take between six months and a year to complete.

How does the ACL reconstruction of the patellar tendon differ from other ACL reconstruction techniques?

ACL reconstruction with a patellar tendon graft differs from other ACL reconstruction methods in several ways, including:

  • Graft source – Your own knee harvests the patellar tendon graft with a tiny bone fragment on either end.
  • Graft strength - Patellar tendon grafts are suitable for athletes and patients who participate in physically demanding activities because they have high strength.
  • Surgical approach – Techniques are adjusted as a different portion of the tendon is used for this procedure.