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Knee ligament reconstruction surgery – otherwise referred to as anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction – is performed when a patient has torn or damaged the anterior cruciate ligament. This ligament is a strong band of tissue that joins the shin bone to the thigh bone, forming the knee joint. The ligament is responsible for controlling the back and forth motion of the lower leg and because the ligament runs diagonally across the knee, it provides great stability within the joint.

Around 40% of all sports injuries are anterior cruciate ligament injuries, making it one of the commonest ailments in sport – especially in tennis, squash, rugby, football and skiing. Injuries to the ligament are typically caused when the lower leg is overextended, and twisting motions can also cause the ligament to tear. An incorrect landing from a jump, a sudden stop or change of direction, or a collision will often result in damage to the anterior cruciate ligament, which if torn can leave the patient with an unstable knee that no longer has full range of movement.

Deciding to have surgery on an injured anterior cruciate ligament will be informed by the severity of the injury – both how badly the ligament is damaged and how it is affecting the patient’s quality of life. Although surgery is not necessary in some cases, it is advised in many cases and it is particularly important to note that putting off having the surgery can sometimes cause further damage to the joint.

The reconstructive surgery consists of grafting new tissue onto the anterior cruciate ligament, as it is not possible to simply stitch it back together. The torn ligament is replaced with a tendon from another part of the leg – the patellar tendon or hamstring, for example.

Professor Ali Ghoz is an Orthopaedic Surgeon, with specialist knowledge of anterior cruciate ligament surgery, ankle surgery and custom-made knee replacement. Professor Ghoz’s sub specialties include minimally invasive knee replacement surgery, knee soft tissue and ligament reconstruction, and knee arthroscopic keyhole surgery, making him a trusted and experienced surgeon to his many patients with knee injuries.

Professor Ghoz is currently the Visiting Professor of Trauma and Orthopaedic Surgery at Chisinau Emergency University Hospitals in Moldova, as well as being an Honorary Professor of Trauma and Orthopaedic Surgery in Egypt’s Deraya University and a Professor of Trauma and Orthopaedic Surgery at The London Orthopaedic Clinic.