The femur bone and the fibula & tibia bones are connected at one of the body’s major joints known as the knee. The knee contains four major ligaments: (i) Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL); (ii) Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL); (iii) Medial Collateral Ligament; and (iv) Lateral Collateral Ligament (LCL).
When someone’s knee gives out after a sports injury or car crash, it is most likely due to an ACL tear – as the ACL is located in the center of the knee (intersecting with the PCL), is essential to its stability and is more susceptible to injury.
The ACL and PCL are wrapped around the femur and the tibia which prevents the knee joint from moving more than slightly forward or backwards.
ACL Repair: When surgery is required, this is really a misnomer…because a torn ACL cannot be repaired…instead, it must be replaced, and so the preferred term is: ACL Reconstruction.
An arthroscopy is usually conducted to determine the severity of the ACL injury and whether there is other related damage as well. The arthroscopy is a minimally-invasive procedure utilizing a tiny incision so that a narrow fiber optic device (with camera) can be used to view the ACL.
ACL reconstruction involves an autograft (grafting of tissue from your own body – usually from parts the patella tendon or hamstring tendon); an allograft (using a donor or cadaver’s body); or an synthetic graft.