When you tear your anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), and undergo surgery, you cannot “repair” the ligament tear. You have to reconstruct the ligament. Reconstruction means you have to take some other ligament or tendon in the patient’s body and turn it into an ACL.
There are many options. I commonly use two of the hamstring tendons that attach near the knee joint.
The hamstring tendons will reform as a scar tissue type tendon, hamstring strength returns back to normal, and the neuro function to the hamstring tendons returns back to normal within one year. So as surgeons we steal from Peter to feed Paul, but eventually we get back to Peter, so to speak…￼
Pictured below are the hamstrings after I have harvested them from the patient. The second image reveals the new ACL that I I have constructed in the operating room. After the surgery the athlete will be back to their game within five months.