Anterolateral Ligament (ALL) reconstruction is a surgical procedure that is often done to treat instability of the knee joint especially in cases of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury. The ALL is a ligament on the outside of the knee joint that has emerged as an important structure in knee stability in the recent past.

Here’s a brief overview of the procedure:Here’s a brief overview of the procedure:

1.     Preparation: The patient is usually given general anesthesia. The surgeon will then proceed to clean the knee area and make cuts to get to the ligaments.

2.     Graft Harvesting: The surgeon may use autograft (tissue from the patient’s own body) or allograft (tissue from a donor) tissue for the reconstruction. Autograft choices include the hamstring tendon or the iliotibial band. Allografts are commonly used when the patient’s own tissue is unsuitable or inadequate in some way.

3.     Tunnel Creation: Holes of small diameter are made through the femur and tibia bones in order to mimic the course of the anterolateral ligament.

4.     Graft Fixation: The harvested graft is then placed through these tunnels and fixed in position with screws, buttons or any other fixation devices. This reconstructs the ALL and provides stability to the knee joint.

5.     Closure: Once the surgeon ensures that the graft is in the right position and tension, he or she closes the wounds with stitches or clips.

6.     Recovery: After the surgery, the patient is required to have a rehabilitation process to strengthen the muscles and improve the movement of the knee joint. Rehabilitation is an essential part of the treatment and may take several months.

ALL reconstruction is commonly done along with ACL reconstruction, particularly when there is notable rotational deficiency or a patient continues to feel unstable even after ACL repair. It is designed to enhance the stability of the knee and may benefit high-risk patients, especially those who lead an active lifestyle or engage in sports.

Like any surgery, there are certain risks and possible complications of ALL reconstruction such as infection, graft failure, stiffness, and nerve or blood vessel injury. These are some of the risks that patients should share with their surgeon and adhere to the post-operative guidelines to minimize the occurrence.