Benefits of Minimally-invasive ACL Surgery vs. Traditional Surgery
The anterior cruciate ligament, also known as the ACL, is one of four main ligaments in the knee joint. It is also the ligament most commonly affected in knee wounds, accounting for around 40% of all sport-related injuries. The severity of ACL injuries can vary, but at its worst, can cause your knee to become very unstable, and it may be impossible to perform some movements. This can have a detrimental effect on your mobility and a significant impact on your ability to perform your regular day to day activities.
There are a variety of non-surgical treatments that may be able to help relieve your symptoms, including pain medications and physical therapy. However, if there is significant damage to the ACL, non-invasive therapies aren’t helping and it the injury is affecting the quality of your life, you may be referred for surgery.
What is minimally-invasive ACL surgery?
While conventional ACL surgery has been used successfully for many years, evolution in the tools and techniques used means that there is now a minimally-invasive option available to patients known as arthroscopic surgery.
In arthroscopic surgery, a fiber-optic tool displays images from inside your knee onto a monitor, which we use to perform the surgery. Unlike conventional surgery, which requires making a large incision into the knee and opening it up, the tools used in arthroscopic surgery are very small and can be inserted through a much smaller entry point. One the tools are in place, we can remove the damaged part of the ligament and add a graft (which has previously been taken from another part of your body) onto the area to improve strength in the ligament and joint.
Whether you are a suitable candidate for arthroscopic ACL surgery will depend on your individual circumstances, and we will be able to give you an accurate recommendation. Nevertheless, there are a variety of additional benefits to choosing arthroscopic ACL surgery, so let’s explore these further.
Benefits of arthroscopic ACL surgery
As we know, the main difference between traditional ACL surgery and minimally invasive ACL surgery is the size of the incision made to perform the procedure. The equipment used is very small, and so only very small incisions into the skin need to be made. This provides the patient with a range of benefits including:
- The incisions are much smaller, so the scarring is less noticeable
- The wound is smaller, and so there is a significantly lower risk of infection
- Less blood loss
- Less damage to the skin and surrounding soft tissue
- Reduced post-operative bruising and swelling
- A smaller wound tends to heal much quicker, speeding up your recovery time
- Lower risk of post-operative complications
- You will be in less discomfort after your procedure, and therefore less reliant on pain medications
- Most patients can expect to go home the same day as their procedure
Minimally-invasive ACL surgery is suitable for most patients. To find out more about the benefits of this modern, innovative procedure or to discuss your candidacy, call our office today at 516-289-9300.