MCL Reconstruction Overview
If Dr. Boykin feels surgery is necessary, he may discuss MCL augmentation or reconstruction with the patient. These are surgical procedures involving the use of a graft to reconstruct the torn MCL. An augmentation procedure involves repairing the torn MCL with sutures and using one of the patient’s hamstring tendons to reinforce the repair. In cases where the damage to the MCL is more severe or longstanding, a full reconstruction is needed. This can be accomplished with a hamstring graft from the patient or a donated graft. The graft is placed in the exact location to replace the torn structures with new tissue at the natural attachment points. The graft is secured with specialized screws and/or anchors placed into the bone that contain strong sutures. The outcomes of MCL augmentation and reconstruction have been shown to be very good at restoring stability and function of the knee. Dr. Boykin prefers to repair or reconstruct all damaged structures during the same surgery if this is possible and safe for the patent.
Recovery Following MCL Surgery
A thorough physical therapy and rehabilitation program will be prescribed for the patient after surgery. This is a critical part of the recovery process and typically therapy will begin immediately. Progression in terms of how the patient moves through each level and how far he/she goes in terms of range of motion, weight bearing, strengthening, etc. will depend on the nature of the injury, surgery, and health of the patient. The usual program includes crutches with protected weight bearing in a brace for 6 weeks. Patients typically return to jogging at 4 months and sports at 5-6 months, depending on the severity of the initial injury.
For additional information on MCL reconstruction surgery of the knee, or to learn more about MCL knee injuries or other knee ligament injuries, please contact the office of Dr. Robert Boykin, orthopedic knee surgeon in Asheville, Arden, Fletcher and surrounding North Carolina communities.