Revision ACL Reconstruction Overview
In certain cases a revision ACL reconstruction can be performed immediately using either a graft from the patient (patellar tendon, hamstrings) or a donated graft. The decision for type of graft is made based on what graft the patient previously had and a discussion of the risks and benefits of each with Dr. Boykin. In other cases, if the quality of the bone is not good from the first surgery, it may be necessary to perform a staged procedure. This consists of a bone grafting procedure to fill the areas with new bone, followed by a revision ACL reconstruction with a graft 4-6 months later. In patients who are found to have a predisposing factor, such as malalignment of the leg, this is treated with a first surgery and the revision ACL reconstruction is done at a later time. Dr. Boykin believes it is of the utmost importance to address all other factors that could be responsible for the failure of the first surgery before proceeding with a revision ACL reconstruction to give the patient the best chance of having a successful surgery.
How Successful is ACL Revision Surgery?
The results of primary ACL reconstruction are highly successful in terms of restoring function and allowing patients to return to their activities. In cases of a revision reconstruction, the results are also very successful but less so than a primary surgery due to the complexity of the injury and procedure. Therefore it is important that a surgeon with experience in complex knee surgery performs the revision surgery.
Recovery Following Revision ACL Reconstruction
After surgery, patients are placed into a brace and immediately started on a detailed rehabilitation program. Patients typically use crutches for 2 weeks and may use a functional type brace once they return to activities for the first year, depending on specific case. Full return to activities is anticipated around 9 to 12 months in the majority of cases.
For additional information on revision ACL reconstruction surgery, or to learn more about common knee ligament injuries, please contact the Asheville, Arden, Fletcher and surrounding North Carolina communities, orthopedic surgeon Robert Boykin, MD.