ACL reconstruction surgery: insight from Mr. Paul Trikha

Oliver Bee | June 14, 2023 | Article

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We spoke with Mr Paul Trikha, one of the UK's highest performing specialist knee injury surgeons to learn about ACL reconstruction, and the advances made in recent years that benefit his patients.

The world of orthopaedic surgery has seen rapid advances in recent years, particularly in the realm of Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) reconstruction. The ACL is a key stabilising ligament in the knee, and injuries to it are unfortunately common, especially among athletes. Leading the charge in innovative ACL reconstruction techniques is Mr Paul Trikha, a consultant knee surgeon specialising in soft tissue knee injuries and surgery.

Mr Trikha, one of the foremost soft tissue knee surgeons in the UK, performs a substantial number of ACL reconstructions annually. His vast experience and dedication to the field have significantly contributed to his reputation and expertise.

The Operation

ACL reconstruction surgery involves replacing the torn ligament with a graft. The graft, taken from the patient's own body or from a donor, is positioned in the place of the original ACL. Small holes are drilled into the femur and tibia to secure the graft, which is then fixed into place. The aim is to restore the stability and function of the knee joint.

Benefits of ACL Reconstruction

The goal of ACL reconstruction is to restore stability to the knee, allowing patients to return to their regular activities, including sports. The surgery improves knee stability and function, reduces pain and swelling, and decreases the risk of further injury. Furthermore, it potentially prevents the development of secondary knee problems like osteoarthritis.

Risks and Mitigation

Despite the benefits, ACL reconstruction is not without risks. These may include infection, blood clots, graft failure, and the potential for additional surgery. However, these risks can be effectively managed and minimised.

Mr Trikha emphasises the importance of a thorough preoperative evaluation and meticulous surgical technique to reduce these risks. Additionally, the use of antibiotics can help prevent infection, while physical therapy and proper post-operative care can significantly decrease the likelihood of complications.

Recovery Timeline

The recovery timeline after ACL reconstruction can vary depending on multiple factors like the patient's overall health, the extent of the injury, and the specific surgical techniques used. Generally, here's what patients can expect:

  • Week 1-2: Patients typically start to walk using crutches.
  • Week 2-6: Patients gradually wean off crutches and start light exercises to regain knee motion.
  • Month 2-3: Patients start more intensive physical therapy to strengthen the knee.
  • Month 6: Many patients are able to return to low-impact sports.
  • Month 9-12: Return to high-impact sports is often possible, assuming the knee has regained full strength and stability.

Mr Trikha's expertise and commitment to patient care have been instrumental in the successful recovery of many patients post-ACL reconstruction. His efforts underscore the importance of skilled surgeons in the field and the positive impact of modern surgical advances.

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