When to Have an FCL Reconstruction?
In most cases requiring surgery for an FCL tear, the treatment is a FCL reconstruction. In cases where other ligaments or structures are torn, including a tear of structures of the PLC, these are reconstructed as well. Depending on the extent of the injuries and patent preference, the graft used for the reconstruction is either from the patient (hamstrings) or is a donated graft. During surgery the knee is first examined under anesthesia to assess all ligaments of the knee and the degree of instability. Next the structures of the knee are examined arthroscopically using a camera and small instruments to address any problems within the knee. An incision is then made over the outside of the knee to identify the torn FCL. The graft that is made to be of similar size to the original FCL is then placed in the proper location and secured by special screws. In the majority of cases, Dr. Boykin will be able to reconstruct the FCL and repair or reconstruct all associated injuries during the same surgery.
Recovery Following FCL Reconstruction
Following FCL reconstruction surgery, patients will be prescribed a strict rehabilitation program. It is important to adhere to the therapy program in order to obtain the most optimal result from the procedure. Physical therapy will most likely begin immediately; however, knee range of motion will be limited for two weeks following surgery. Crutches will be used with restricted weight bearing for a total of 6 weeks. Strengthening begins at eight weeks, and patients typically return to jogging at 4 months. When the knee has healed sufficiently, additional strengthening exercises will help the knee function better and make it stronger.
For additional information on FCL reconstruction surgery or other knee ligament treatments, please contact the office of Dr. Robert Boykin, orthopedic knee surgeon treating patients in Asheville, Arden, Fletcher and surrounding North Carolina communities.