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Tunbridge Wells Hospital

Kingswood Road, Tunbridge Wells, TN2 4UL

01892 531111
Helpdesk 01892 552 932
Physiotherapy 03450454845
Switchboard 01892 531111
Radiology 01892 552 916

Why choose Nuffield Health Tunbridge Wells Hospital for your ACL repair surgery?

Nuffield Health Tunbridge Wells Hospital has been at the forefront of private medical care in Kent since opening in 1968. One area of speciality that we excel in is orthopaedic surgery. Our expert knee surgeons specialise in lower limb trauma and in particular anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction.

As a knee surgery patient with us, you will receive rapid access to treatment and scans, as well as our attentive matron-led care. Not to mention our exclusive Recovery Plus programme at your local Nuffield Health Fitness & Wellbeing Gym, designed to aid your recovery.

If you want to find out more about ACL Reconstruction, why not come along to one of our free orthopaedic open events

What is the anterior cruciate ligament?

The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is one of the important ligaments that stabilise your knee joint. If you have torn (ruptured) this ligament, the knee can collapse or ‘give way’ when making twisting or turning movements.

How does an ACL rupture happen?

An ACL rupture happens as a result of a twisting injury to the knee. The common causes are football and skiing injuries. You can injure other parts of your knee at the same time, such as tearing a cartilage or damaging the joint surface.

What happens during ACL reconstruction?

ACL reconstruction is normally performed under general anaesthetic. The operation usually takes between an hour and an hour and a half. Your surgeon will make one or more cuts on the front and sides of your knee. Some surgeons perform the operation by arthroscopy (‘keyhole’ surgery) using a camera to see inside the knee. Your surgeon will replace the ACL with a piece of suitable tissue (a graft) from elsewhere in the body. The top and bottom ends of the replacement ligament are fixed with special screws or anchors into ‘tunnels’ drilled in the bone.

How soon will I recover?

  • You should be able to go home the same day or the day after.
  • Your surgeon may want you to wear a knee brace for a few weeks after the operation
  • Once your knee is settling down you will need to start regular physiotherapy treatment that may continue for as long as six months. 
  • Complete recovery can take up to nine months.

Most people make a good recovery and return to normal activities following ACL reconstruction. As with any surgery there can be complications.

General complications of any operation:

  • Pain
  • Bleeding
  • Infection in the surgical wound
  • Unsightly scarring
  • Blood Clots
  • Difficulty passing urine.

Specific complications of ACL reconstruction:

  • Break of the kneecap
  • Damage to nerves around the knee
  • Infection in the knee joint
  • Discomfort in the front of the knee
  • Loss of knee movement
  • Recurrent giving way of the knee
  • Severe pain, stiffness and loss of use of the knee (Complex Regional Pain Syndrome).

How physio helped Alice recover from ACL surgery to make rugby history

When rugby player Alice heard her knee pop she feared her dreams of playing at Twickenham were over. But all was not lost.

Read full article