The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is one of four ligaments that maintain knee stability. Connecting the shinbone (tibia) and thigh (femur), the ACL is situated in the interior of the knee, behind the kneecap (patella). The ACL maintains back-and-forth motion within the knee.
A torn ACL typically cannot be stitched back together with sutures. Instead, the ligament must be reconstructed. One treatment option is to graft a section of the patellar tendon (which runs between the kneecap and the shinbone) into the site of the damaged ACL. At the end of each tendon are plugs of bone, taken from the patient's patella and tibia. These bone plugs serve as anchors for the new graft.
The orthopedics departments of John C. Lincoln Hospitals invite you to watch this interactive overview of patellar tendon-bone graft surgery.