Insight on ACL tear and surgery

  • Nation
  • Thursday, 09 Jan 2020

Doctor’s advice: Dr Gandhi (left) and Dr Ling using knee models to explain about knee reconstruction and osteoarthritis. Both doctors will discuss the matter on StarLIVE.

PETALING JAYA: Individuals with ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) tears and symptoms of knee instability should seek reconstruction surgery, according to an orthopaedic surgeon.

Consultant orthopaedic surgeon and academician Assoc Prof Dr Gandhi Nathan Solayar said that young and active people who engage in sporting activities and tear or rupture their ACL would benefit greatly from surgery.

“If you are a 20-year-old patient, I would recommend ACL reconstruction, as this not only stabilises the knee to allow further sporting activity, it may further reduce the risk of knee degeneration or arthritis (inflammation in the joints) in the future.

“Once the ACL is torn, it is unlikely to heal on its own. We can’t repair the ligament and that’s why we recommend ACL reconstruction surgery, ” said Dr Gandhi who is attached with Ara Damansara Medical Centre and has 14 years of experience in orthopaedic surgery.

He will be speaking on ACL surgery at the upcoming StarLIVE talk on Jan 18 at Menara Star here.

On the procedure, he said: “We try our level best to strengthen and rehabilitate the muscles around the knee before and after surgery in an effort to improve patient outcome.”

He said younger patients have a higher risk of ACL re-tear after the surgery, due to their active lifestyle.

“The medical evidence on the recurrence of knee injury or re-tear of the reconstructed ACL is between 5% and 15%, depending on how young, active and rehabilitated the patients are after surgery, ” he shared.

After surgery, patients would need to undergo rehabilitative exercises for three to six months.

“It (rehabilitation exercise) is important because it lowers the chances of re-injury and repeat tear of the reconstructed ligament.

“It helps protect the knee and patients regain function faster, ” he said.

On the recovery process, he said patients who are office workers or with sedentary jobs may return to duty after two to three weeks, while professional athletes may be sidelined up to 12 months.

Dr Gandhi’s colleague, consultant orthopaedic surgeon Dr Ling How Tieng, will share his knowledge and insights on knee osteoarthritis – a degenerative joint disease.

“It is wear and tear of the knee.

“It is more common among patients aged above 50 years, but we do see young patients, mostly those active in sports or those who have had injury when they were younger, ” he said, adding that females have a higher risk of getting knee osteoarthritis.

Dr Ling said some people need to go for total knee replacement surgery to treat severe knee osteoarthritis ailment.

The StarLIVE talk is organised by The Star and Ramsay Sime Darby Health Care. Admission is free and will be on a first-come, first-served basis. To register, go to

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