What is ACL Preserving Total Knee Replacement?
ACL preserving total knee replacement is an advanced surgery performed to replace a damaged knee joint with a prosthesis while preserving the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). The ACL is a very important ligament that runs diagonally across the front of the knee and provides rotational knee stability.
Indication for ACL Preserving Total Knee Replacement
For potential total knee replacement patients who wish to continue active lifestyles or sports which require bending, twisting, and making abrupt changes in direction; ACL preserving total knee replacement offers better knee movement and stability.
Advantages of ACL Preserving Total Knee Replacement
Traditionally, surgery for total knee replacement involved removal of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) even if it was healthy. However, due to the loss of the ACL, some patients experience knee instability. ACL preserving during surgery can improve knee function and strength after total knee replacement. The advantages of ACL preservation include:
- Good range of motion
- Better functioning of the implant
- Prolongs the life of the implant
- Gives a natural feel to the knee
How do you prepare for ACL Preserving Total Knee Replacement?
Your doctor may order some blood tests before the surgery. Inform your doctor of the various medications you are taking as they may have to be stopped for a few days before surgery. You also need to have someone take you home after surgery and help you with daily activities for a few days.
New Implants for ACL Preserving Total Knee Replacement
Your doctor will select one of the new implant designs which facilitates replacement of the damaged part of your knee without removal of the ACL.
How is ACL Preserving Total Knee Replacement Performed?
The ACL preserving total knee replacement is performed as follows:
Advanced imaging techniques are used to prepare a specific plan based on alignment and anatomy of your knee.
- You are given general anesthesia or spinal anesthesia.
- A small incision is made at the front of your knee.
- The damaged part of the bone is removed taking care to retain the ACL ligament.
- Specialized cutting guides are used to prepare the bone for placement of an implant.
- The implant is carefully placed, and your surgeon checks for correct movement of your knee.
- The incision is closed and covered with a surgical dressing.
Recovery after ACL Preserving Total Knee Replacement
Physical therapy in the form of a passive range of motion exercises may be initiated on the same day as the surgery, which will progress to an active range of motion and knee strengthening exercises as recommended by your surgeon. You should be able to return to routine activities in 4-6 months.
Risks of ACL Preserving Total Knee Replacement
ACL preserving total knee replacement is a very safe procedure; however, there is a minimal risk of complications that include infection, bleeding, delayed healing, and failure of the implant.