Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Reconstruction

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Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction refers to the replacement of the damaged ACL with a tissue to facilitate normal functioning of the knee. ACL is a major stabilizing ligament in the knee, which connects the femur to the tibia. ACL helps provide proper movement of the tibia. ACL also facilitates pivoting or sudden change in the direction of the leg, preventing the damage to the knee.


Damage to the ACL Surgery 

The ACL can be injured in different ways, thus warranting a need for ACL repair. The following scenarios may damage the ACL:

  • Collision with a football
  • Slowing down while running
  • Landing incorrectly after a jump
  • Twisting of the knee and the foot in opposite direction


Initial Treatment for Anterior Cruciate Ligament Tear

The ACL may not require surgery when the knee is stable when the ligament is not torn completely, or even when you don’t have to strain your knees by active sports. The alternate treatment in such a situation is “RICE” – Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation.

Physiotherapy, exercise, and braces for legs can help provide support to the knee. Exercises such as swimming, running in a straight line, and playing golf can be preferred by active individuals if they do not wish to return to an active sports life.

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Before the Treatment

Before two weeks of ACL reconstruction surgery

    • Inform the surgeon if you are on any other medications.
    • Drugs like aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen should be stopped as these increase the risk of bleeding.
    • You should ask the surgeon about the drugs that can be taken until the day of the surgery.
    • You should inform the surgeon about your medical history. 

      On the day of ACL reconstruction surgery

  • You should not drink water or take food 6 to 12 hours before the surgery.
  • The drugs which are supposed to be taken must be consumed with a little amount of water.

How it is Performed

General anaesthesia or local anaesthesia will be given before ACL reconstruction surgery. The tissue to replace the damaged ACL will be taken from the kneecap or hamstring tendons of your body, or from a donor. The surgery is usually performed with the help of knee arthroscopy.

ACL repair involves the use of a camera inserted into the slit made in the knee. A computer connected to the camera facilitates viewing of the inner ligament, by which the physician can perform the surgery. Other incisions are made to incorporate the required equipment and then the ACL reconstruction surgery is performed.

  • The torn ligament is removed with the shaver.
  • If the patient’s tissue is used, the surgeon would make a larger cut and remove the tissue.
  • The knee bone is drilled and the tendon is now implanted into the position where the old ACL was present.
  • Screws and other instruments are used to attach the new tendon to the bone.
  • The bone tunnels would gradually fill in as the bone grows, which holds the ligament in place.
  • Small incisions made in the area of the surgery are closed with sutures and sterile dressing.


You will be sent home on the same day of the surgery. You will be instructed to use knee braces or crutches after one to four weeks of the surgery. The physician prescribes pain medications if required. Physiotherapy could help retain the integrity of the knee faster.

  • It may take a minimum of 6 months for any individual to recover after the surgery, depending on the individual’s rate of recovery.
  • If pain and swelling are observed, an ice pack can be applied over the area. But there should be no direct contact between the ice with the skin as it can cause damage to the skin.
  • You should follow the physician’s recommendations to recover soon and without any complications.
  • People who have a desk job can return to their duties in a week’s time and people involved in active exercises or who are athletes should avoid returning to their work for a minimum of six months.
  • Playing sports such as basketball after the surgery might not be possible and physician’s advice is recommended. 


  • Fast recovery
  • Pain relief
  • Normal working of the knee
  • Returns stability of the knee


  • Blood clot in the legs
  • Weakening of the knee
  • Failure of relief from pain
  • Stiffness in the knee
  • Limited movement of the knee
  • Tear in the newly transplanted tendon

Cost Comparison

Cost of ACL Repair 

The cost of ACL surgery in India is highly affordable, especially when compared to the Western countries. A medical tourist from abroad can pay minimal ACL surgery cost in India and get treated successfully without any complications.

The cost of ACL reconstruction in other countries is much higher than that of India. This is one of the leading reasons why people with ACL injury choose to come to India for its repair.  The overall ACL reconstruction cost, however, depends on several factors. These factors dictate the total ACL repair surgery cost irrespective of the country that you decide to get the repair done. These include the choice of hospital, the choice of city complications involves, the cost of medications, surgeon’s fees, and hospital charges among other factors.

The following highlights the ACL surgery cost in India and some of the other countries:


Treatment cost in India: 3000
Treatment cost in Turkey: 4000
Treatment cost in United Arab Emirates: 7500
Treatment cost in Spain: 18300
Treatment cost in Thailand: 13500
Treatment cost in Israel: 12000
Treatment cost in Singapore: 19000
Treatment cost in Saudi Arabia: 5000
Treatment cost in South Africa: 9300
Treatment cost in Tunisia: 7500
Treatment cost in Greece: 10000
Treatment cost in Czechia: 5800
Treatment cost in Hungary: 3000
Treatment cost in Lebanon: n/a
Treatment cost in Lithuania: 3800
Treatment cost in Poland: 5700
Treatment cost in Switzerland: n/a
Treatment cost in United Kingdom: 17500
Treatment cost in Malaysia: 7500
Treatment cost in Morocco: n/a
Treatment cost in South Korea: 15000
Treatment cost in United States: 20000

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Q. When should I go for an ACL repair?

 A. It is recommended to people who want to return to their active sports life and prevent a knee-buckling while performing these sports. It is recommended for patients with a stressed knee.

Q. When should the surgery be performed?

A. The surgery is not an emergency. Effective results are observed if the surgery is performed after a small period of rehabilitation to the knee. For better results and protection of the meniscus of the knee, six months of rehabilitation after the tear of the ACL is required.

Q. How can I know that I have ACL damage?

A. A pop sound will occur at the time of the injury. The swollen and painful knee may indicate that you have ACL damage.

Q. Will my pain reduce after ACL pain?

 A. There will be pain until two weeks after the surgery. The pain can be controlled by using ice packs, performing exercises as recommended by the physician, taking rest, and using pain relief medications.

 Q. Can I return to sports after the surgery?

  A. Yes, but it can take 9 to 12 months after proper rehabilitation and 6 months training in sports-specific agility drills.

Patient Stories

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Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Reconstruction