The ACL crosses from the back of the femur to the front of the tibia. It acts as a strong support for the knee. But the ACL can be injured if you twist your knee too far or change direction too quickly.
The ACL is typically injured when you twist your knee beyond its normal range of motion. An example is when a person is snow skiing, and the ski “catches an edge,” this causes you to twist your lower leg either outward or inward. The person might hear or feel a pop, and your knee will give away. This is exactly what happened to me, but on the basketball court. I heard a pop and could not bend or extend my knee, and it swelled up immediately with excruciating pain. A complete tear of the ACL is like rope fibers coming apart. A partial tear can also occur. Other parts of the knee may be injured at the same time you injure your ACL. In my case, I completely tore my ACL and tore 3 of the 4 meniscal pads in my right knee. The meniscus acts as a shock absorber for the knee.
The type of surgery performed depends on the injuries to the knee. ACL surgery may be done using arthroscopy. This technique uses small incisions. It usually means a faster recovery and less scarring than with open surgery.
The most common type of surgery for an ACL injury is reconstruction. This involves replacing the torn ligament with new tissue called a graft. This graft may be a ligament or tendon from the persons own knee called