By Steven Meier
Ligament reconstruction refers to a type of surgery that is done to help rebuild ligaments that have been damaged or torn. In some cases, ligaments that have been injured will heal without surgery, but in most instances where the ligament is completely ruptured, surgery may be necessary for the future stability of the joint.
Please contact Meier Orthopedic Sports and Regenerative Medicine to learn more about ligament reconstruction or to schedule an appointment. You can reach us at 310.736.2793.
Ligament Injury Causes and Symptoms
The primary symptoms people notice when they may have a ligament injury include:
- Joint instability
- A popping sound or feeling
- Reduced joint mobility
One of the most common causes of ligament injury is trauma during sports or other physical activities such as those which can occur while working around the house.
Ligament Damage Diagnosis and Treatment
In order to diagnose possible damage to a ligament, your doctor will take your history and perform a physical examination. During the physical examination your physician will check the affected joints for swelling and tenderness. Your doctor may also use a number of imaging tests to help arrive at a diagnosis, such as:
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
Surgery to reconstruct ligaments uses one or more tissue grafts in order to augment and/or make a new version of the torn ligament. The damaged tissue, if no longer functional, is removed from the joint, then the new tissue that will support or replace it is crafted to take its place. The sources for the replacement graft could be autografts or allografts. Autografts use bone or tissue that has been harvested from the patient’s own body. Allografts, however, use bone or tissue that has been donated.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What are the alternatives to ligament reconstruction?
A: In some cases it may be possible to rehabilitate a damaged ligament using physical therapy, however, surgery is typically required to restore function if the damage is very severe or the ligament is completely torn.
Q: How do I know if I need surgery to repair my damaged ligament?
A: The best way to determine how to treat your ligament injury is to contact an expert orthopedic surgeon such as Steven W. Meier, MD at the Meier Orthopedic Sports and Regenerative Medicine. You can reach us at 310.736.2793 or send us an email to set up a consultation with Dr. Meier.
Q: How do I know if I’ve injured a ligament?
A: The most common signs of ligament damage after the injury are pain and swelling. When the injury happens, some people also feel or hear a “pop” in that area.
Q: What are the different kinds of grafts used in ligament reconstruction?
A: The two main types of grafts are autografts and allografts. Autografts are taken from the patient’s own body, while allografts are taken from a donor.
Q: What can I expect during recovery from ligament reconstruction surgery?
A: After your surgery, the wound will usually be stitched closed and bandaged. You may experience bruising, swelling, and redness around the joint. However, these symptoms should improve in about a week. Your surgeon will advise you regarding a specific rehabilitation program for your particular injury. It is essential that you follow the program exactly in order to speed recovery.
Contact a Los Angeles Orthopedic Surgeon
As a leading expert in the field of sports medicine and joint preservation, Dr. Meier is one of the most renowned orthopedic surgeons in Los Angeles. If you think you might have an injury that requires ligament reconstruction, please don’t hesitate to contact our office and set up your appointment today!