While most know about the ACL, the other ligaments in the knee can be torn and need repair to return the knee to peak performance as well.

What is Knee Ligament Repair?

Your surgeon will correct your Posterior Cruciate ligament (PCL), Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL), Lateral Collateral Ligament (LCL) by replacing it with a piece of healthy tendon. Typically, this tendon is from the kneecap or hamstring. It may come from you (autograft) or an organ donor (allograft). It can be performed in conjunction with ACL Reconstruction, usually similar techniques.

Who should have a Knee Ligament Repair?

People with a torn knee ligament may struggle to twist or turn their knee. It may buckle or give out. Medical treatments such as rest, ice, elevation, compression or pain relievers may be tried before surgery. However, instability of the knee can often persist until a surgical repair is performed.

Does Knee Ligament Repair work?

Ligament surgery works very well when it comes to stabilizing the knee joint and preventing further knee injuries such as meniscus tears. Unrepaired ligaments present a high risk of subsequent knee injury. Knee ligament repair is an open surgery that carries all the standard risks: blood clotting, infection, anesthesia, and other your surgeon may discuss with you. OrthoNebraska’s sports medicine surgeons use newer techniques which allow people to move their knee sooner after surgery to try and decrease the risk of stiffness.

What can I expect when I have a Knee Ligament Repair?

Some patients may require pre-op physical therapy to help with swelling and range of motion restoration.

You may need a pre-surgical physical to make any necessary accommodations based on your health history. When you arrive at the hospital, you’ll speak to your surgeon and anesthesiologist. You are likely to put to sleep (general anesthesia) and be placed face up for the procedure. The procedure generally takes a few hours and you will need someone to drive you home a few hours after your surgery.

The athlete usually begins physical therapy, an important step in rehabilitation, a few days after surgery. Full recovery from a knee ligament repair surgery can take anywhere from three to twelve months.

People typically return to school or sedentary jobs in one week. However, heavy labor occupations will most likely require two to four months of recovery. Each person is different and progresses with their recovery at varying rates.