ACL Reconstruction Surgery

ACL Reconstruction Surgery

ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) reconstruction surgery is a procedure performed by orthopaedic surgeons to replace a torn ACL with a new tissue (graft).

ACL surgery Singapore

What are the Types of Grafts Used?

  • Autograft: This procedure involves using the patient’s own tissue, such as the patellar tendon, hamstring tendon, or quadriceps tendon, to reconstruct the torn ligament.
  • Allograft: In this procedure, a graft is obtained from a deceased donor to reconstruct the torn ACL. The graft undergoes a thorough screening and sterilisation process prior to being used.
  • Synthetic Graft: This type of graft is made from artificial materials, such as carbon fibre and polyester, designed to mimic the structure and function of the natural ACL.


What Happens before ACL Surgery?

Before undergoing ACL reconstruction surgery, the patient will undergo preoperative tests, such as X-rays or MRI scans, to evaluate the extent of the ACL injury and assess the overall condition of the knee. These tests will help the surgeon plan the surgical approach and determine the most appropriate graft type. Additionally, the medical team will provide the patient with instructions on how to prepare for the procedure. This may include fasting for 8 to 12 hours before surgery and restrictions on certain medications or supplements.

How is ACL Reconstruction Surgery Performed?

ACL reconstruction surgery is performed under anaesthesia and is commonly done via arthroscopic techniques. Once the patient is asleep, the surgeon makes small incisions around the knee to insert an arthroscopic camera and specialised surgical tools, allowing for clear visualisation of the torn ligament. The surgeon removes the damaged ACL and prepares the graft to replace it.

The surgeon will secure the graft in place using screws, staples, or other fixation devices. After positioning the graft, they close the incisions and immobilise the knee with a brace or cast. The procedure typically takes approximately 1 to 1.5 hours to complete.


Recovery after an ACL Reconstruction Surgery

Following surgery, the patient will be taken to a recovery area where they will be closely monitored. They may be given pain medication as well. In most cases, patients can return home the same day as the procedure.

The surgeon will provide detailed instructions on wound care, guidelines for weight-bearing activities, and pain management. In addition, a physiotherapist will guide the patient through a series of targeted exercises designed to strengthen the surrounding muscles, improve flexibility, and regain stability in the knee. It may be necessary for the patient to temporarily use crutches or wear a knee brace while walking, to provide support for the healing knee. Patients will have regular follow-up appointments with the surgeon to monitor their progress and address any concerns.

What are the Risks of ACL Surgery?

Like any surgical procedure, there are potential risks involved to take note of. These may include:

  • Bleeding at the surgical site
  • Infection
  • Persistent knee pain
  • Blood clot formation in the leg
  • Adverse reactions to anaesthesia
  • Knee stiffness and instability
  • Possible graft failure
  • Injury to nerves or blood vessels

However, with ACL surgery being a well-established procedure, it is generally a very safe and effective treatment when performed by an experienced and accredited orthopaedic surgeon.



When is ACL surgery needed?

Orthopaedic surgeons usually recommend ACL surgery for patients with a complete tear of the ligament, or those who have significant knee instability. In general, factors like the patient’s activity level, age, and severity of the tear, are considered.

How much does ACL surgery cost in Singapore?

The cost of an ACL reconstruction varies depending on whether it is a public or private hospital, the doctor’s fee, medications, type of surgery, length of hospital stay, and the extent of insurance coverage that the patient has. Contact our clinic for more personalised information.

Will I be able to return to my previous sporting activities?

With proper rehabilitation and adherence to one’s recovery plan after an ACL surgery, most patients will eventually return to their previous level of physical activity; usually between 6 to 12 months.

Can a torn ACL heal without surgery?

Not all individuals with an ACL tear require surgery. Non-surgical treatments like physiotherapy and using a knee brace can sometimes resolve minor ACL injuries. However, surgery will be required to repair a complete ACL tear; or tears that have not shown much improvement following conservative treatment. 

Contact Us

Get back to doing your favourite sports. We aim to deliver personalised patient care using evidence based treatments. Our goal is to relieve any pain and help you improve your quality of life.

For more assistance, please call +65 8028 4572 or leave us a message


Camden Medical
1 Orchard Boulevard, #09-06
Singapore 248649

Mount Alvernia Hospital
820 Thomson Road
Medical Centre D #05-60
Singapore 574623

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