The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) lies in the centre of your knee and controls the knee joint’s movement and stability. If you overextend or twist your knee, such as while playing sports like rugby, football or skiing, your anterior cruciate ligament can rupture.

If this happens, your knee will be less stable and if you don’t do anything about it, there’s a good chance you will injure it further. For this reason, your consultant orthopaedic surgeon will usually recommend that you have surgery to replace the ligament.

If an anterior cruciate ligament ruptures, it needs to be replaced with tissue from elsewhere in your body. At The London Clinic, we perform operations to reconstruct the ACL by grafting a piece of tendon from elsewhere in your leg and using it as a new ligament in your knee.

The operation to repair your anterior cruciate ligament takes around two hours to perform and is done under general anaesthetic. The operation is performed using an arthroscope, a tiny camera inserted into your knee. This is attached to a monitor so that your surgeon can see images of the inside of your knee while the operation is carried out.

Once you’ve been put under anaesthetic, your surgeon makes small incisions into your knee and then inject sterile fluid into it. The surgeon then examines the inside of the knee with the arthroscope and trims the ruptured anterior cruciate ligament.

A tendon is then harvested from elsewhere in your body, usually your hamstring at the back of your knee or part of the patellar tendon. Your orthopaedic surgeon will then drill a tunnel up through your knee joint and insert the grafted tendon into it. Once it’s fed through the tunnel, the tendon will be fixed in place with screws before closing the incisions using stitches or adhesive strips.