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Ligament Reconstruction

Helping You Return to a More Active Life

Hoag Orthopedic Institute’s orthopedic-specialized physical therapy team will work closely with your surgeon to establish a personalized rehabilitation plan. Our goal is to return you to an active life and the sports you enjoy. Hoag Orthopedic Institute's sports medicine orthopedic surgeons volunteer to serve local athletic teams at the sidelines, giving world-class care to the community.

Contact us today to learn more about the orthopedic services that we offer.

How Reconstructive Surgery Works for Ligament Injuries

Ligaments are tough fibrous cords composed of connective tissue that contains both collagen and elastic fibers. The elastic fibers allow the ligaments to stretch to some extent. Ligaments surround joints and bind them together. They help to strengthen and stabilize joints by permitting movement only in certain directions. They also connect one bone to another (such as inside the knee).

Sports-related injuries to the ligaments are fairly common, most often affecting the knee, elbow and ankle. If you have experienced a ligament injury that cannot be successfully treated non-surgically, you and your doctor may decide that ligament reconstruction is your best option. During reconstructive surgery, the torn ligament will be replaced with a substitute graft.

We Use Only the Most Advanced Technology

There are a number of orthopedic surgeons aligned with Hoag Orthopedic Institute who have chosen sports injuries as their sub-specialty. These surgeons are highly trained in leading edge, less invasive surgeries that are designed to do as little damage as possible to the muscles and tissues surrounding the joint. The alignment of the ligament reconstruction is critical, and these surgeries require an experienced surgical team. Hoag Orthopedic Institute provides orthopedic specialized surgical teams and the most advanced technology in ligament reconstruction.

Treating Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Injuries

Knee injuries can occur in basketball, volleyball, soccer, football and other sports. The most common type of knee ligament reconstruction is of the Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL). The ACL can be injured when there is a twisting motion of the knee or when it is hit while the foot is planted. It can also be injured during a sudden stop when the femur moves forcefully over the tibia.

The tissue that will replace your damaged ACL will come from your own body or from a donor. Tissue taken from your own body is called an autograft. The two most common tissue sources are the patellar, a tendon in your knee, or a hamstring tendon. Tissue may also be used from a donor, this is called an allograft. The best decision for ACL surgery varies from person to person.

Ulnar Collateral Ligament (UCL) Reconstruction

Elbow instability injuries can occur in sports that involve repetitive throwing. Elbow ligament reconstruction is designed to restore the correct biomechanical function of the ligaments. Surgical treatment options for elbow instability include ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) reconstruction. This surgery involves replacing the UCL with a tendon that is obtained elsewhere in the body.

Common sites include the forearm, knee and hamstring. Your surgeon will harvest the tendon and loop it through the various holes that have been drilled in the elbow, in a series of figure-eight patterns. Over time, the transplanted tendon “ligamentizes,” which basically means it learns to become a ligament. You can learn more about this procedure by consulting a physician.

Ligament Reconstruction Surgery of the Ankle

Lateral ligament injuries of the ankle are possibly the most common sports-related injuries, sustained during basketball, volleyball, soccer and other sports. The position of the foot when injured dictates the injury sustained, with the most common injury being of the calcaneo-fibular ligament (CFL). Ligament reconstruction surgery of the ankle involves harvesting a tendon to replace your damaged ligament. The most common source is your peroneus brevis tendon (the tendon that pulls the outside of the foot upward). The tendon will be routed through the bones of the ankle to reinforce the ankle and provide the support that the ligament previously provided.

Recovering from a Ligament Reconstruction Procedure

Any type of ligament reconstruction procedure will be followed by an exercise and rehabilitation program to strengthen the muscles and restore full joint mobility in the affected area. The physical therapy team at Hoag Orthopedic Institute is orthopedic specialized, and they will work closely with your surgeon to establish a personalized rehabilitation plan that is tailored to your needs. Their expertise will be essential in helping you regain full motion and return to an active life.

Your recovery time, of course, depends upon the affected joint, the type of injury and the type of surgery. Your joint will most likely be immobilized for a time period and then allowed range of motion exercises and strengthening exercise. The goal of rehabilitation is to return you to your normal activities as soon as is safely possible. For patients who remain dedicated to physical therapy, the chances of complete recovery are very high, at above 90 percent.