ACL Reconstruction Patellar Tendon

The anterior cruciate ligament is one of the major stabilising ligaments in the knee. It is a strong rope like structure located in the centre of the knee running from the femur to the tibia. When this ligament tears unfortunately it doesn’t heal and often leads to the feeling of instability in the knee.

The Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) is the major stabilising ligament of the knee. The ACL is located in the centre of the knee joint and runs from the femur (thigh bone) to the tibia (shin bone), through the centre of the knee. The ACL prevent the femur from sliding backwards on the tibia (or the tibia sliding forwards on the femur). Together with the posterior cruciate ligament (PCL), ACL stabilises the knee in a rotational fashion. Thus if one of these ligaments is significantly damaged, the knee will be unstable when planting the foot of the injured extremity and pivoting, cause the knee to buckle and give way.

The patellar tendon is the structure on the front of your knee that connects the kneecap (patella) to the shin bone (tibia). The patellar tendon averages between 25 to 30 mm in width. When a patellar tendon graft is taken, the central 1/3 of the patellar tendon is removed (about 9 or 10 mm) along with a block of bone at the sites of attachment on the kneecap and tibia.

Many surgeons prefer the patellar tendon graft because it closely resembles what needs reconstruction. The length of the patellar tendon is about the same as the ACL, and the bone ends of the graft can be placed in to the bone where the ACL attaches. This allows for “bone to bone” healing, something many surgeons consider to be stronger than any other healing method.

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