India is turning out to be a top destination for patients and travelers worldwide. With its state of the art hospitals and highly qualified UK and USA trained doctors, it will soon transform into the worldwide medical hub. Medical tourism is a term coined which covers patients traveling across the globe for tourism purposes clubbing their requirements for treatment of acute illness, elective surgeries such as cardiology, hip replacement, knee replacement, etc. The government is taking serious initiatives in this regards and plans to start overseas marketing of India as a medical tourism destination. The government of India is of the opinion that by marketing India as a global medical tourism destination, it could capitalise on the low-cost, high-quality medical care available in the country.
What is Anterior Cruciate Ligament?
The Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) is the primary stabilizer of the knee. If it is torn, the person will feel a pop and experiences immediate pain and swelling, and if not repaired, the patient will have recurrent instability of the knee. Over time, this can cause long-term damage. According to the surgeons the female athletes are six times more likely to tear their ACL than their male counterparts. The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) serves an important stabilising and biomechanical function for the knee joint. Rupture of the ACL leads to abnormal kinematics and predisposes the joint to degenerative changes.
How is torn Anterior Cruciate Ligament Diagnosed?
The diagnosis of Anterior Cruciate Ligament tear is based on:
·Physical examination by Lachmans Test and Drawers Test.
·X-ray evaluation – X-ray films are evaluated for any possible tearing away of bone where the Anterior Cruciate Ligament attaches. Also, the x-ray will show any loose bone fragments or fractures.
·Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) – MRI is a non-invasive test that produces an image of all parts of the knee. In this test, patient will lie in a hollow cylinder while powerful magnets create signals from inside the knee, which are then converted into a computer image that clearly shows any damage to the structures inside the joint. The images are valuable not only to determine the presence of an anterior cruciate ligament tear, but also to assess the degree of the tear along with any damage to related structures, such as the meniscus and other ligaments.
The Anterior Cruciate Ligament surgery:
Surgery for anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries involves reconstructing or repairing the ACL.
·ACL reconstruction surgery uses a graft to replace the ligament. The most common grafts are autografts using part of patientr own body, such as the tendon of the kneecap (patellar tendon) or one of the hamstring tendons. Other good choices include allograft tissue, which is donor material.
·In repair surgery, the ends of the torn ligament are sewn back together.
Most ACL surgery is done by reconstructing the ACL because reconstruction gives better results than repair surgery. Repair surgery generally is only used when the ACL has been torn from the upper or lower leg bone. This type of injury is uncommon. In the case of an avulsion fracture, the bone fragment connected to the ACL is reattached to the bone.ACL surgery is done by making small incisions in the knee and inserting instruments for surgery through these incisions (arthroscopic surgery) or by cutting a large incision in the knee (open surgery).
Many health professional use arthroscopic surgery rather than open surgery for ACL injuries because:
·It is easy to see and work on the knee structures.
·It uses smaller incisions than open surgery.
·It can be done at the same time as diagnostic arthroscopy (using arthroscopy to determine the injury or damage to the knee).
·It may have fewer risks than open surgery.
·Rehabilitation is often faster after arthroscopy than after open surgery.
Arthroscopic surgery is performed under spinal or general anesthesia.
During arthroscopic ACL reconstruction, the surgeon makes several small incisions; usually two or three around the knee. Sterile saline (salt) solution is pumped into the knee through one incision to expand it and to wash blood from the area. This allows the health professional to see the knee structures more clearly.The surgeon inserts an arthroscope into one of the other incisions. A camera at the end of the arthroscope transmits pictures from inside the knee to a TV monitor in the operating room. Surgical drills are inserted through other small incisions. The surgeon drills small holes into the upper and lower leg bones where these bones come close together at the knee joint. The holes form tunnels through which the graft will be anchored. The surgeon will take the autograft (replacement tissue) at this point. If it comes from the knee, it will include two small pieces of bone called “bone blocks” on both ends. One piece of bone is taken from the kneecap and the other piece is taken from a part of the lower leg bone near the knee joint. If the autograft comes from the hamstring, bone blocks are not taken. The graft may also be taken from a deceased donor (allograft).
The graft is pulled through the two tunnels that were drilled in the upper and lower leg bones. The surgeon secures the graft with screws or staples and will close the incisions with stitches or tape. A temporary surgical drain may be put in place. The knee is bandaged, and patient is taken to the recovery room for 2 to 3 hours.
During ACL surgery, the surgeon may repair other injured parts of the knee as well, such as ligaments, cartilage, or broken bones.
What is the outcome of Anterior Cruciate Ligament repair?
Successful ACL reconstruction surgery tightens knee and restores its stability. It also helps patient avoid further injury and get back to playing sports. After ACL reconstruction, patient will need to do rehabilitation exercises to gradually return his knee to full flexibility and stability. Building strength in thigh and calf muscles helps support the reconstructed structure. Patient may need to use a knee brace for awhile and will probably have to stay out of sports for about one year after the surgery.
Why should one go for Anterior Cruciate Ligament Surgery in India?
More and more western patients seeking surgery are looking towards eastern destinations such as India, for their medical needs, including orthopedic procedures. The healthcare sector in this region has become a flourishing industry. As patients from Europe, the US and other affluent nations with high medical costs look for effective options, strong competition in the region among India, are seen as increasingly favorable with their state of the art hospitals, salubrious climate and tourism appeal. Attractive and affordable medical packages have now been developed to include: airfare, surgery, meals and five star accommodations with an additional site-seeing option. So that is why India is the most favorable destination for knee and orthopedic surgery.
To know more about Hospitals in India and the Anterior Cruciate Ligament surgery packages available in Hospitals,
Medical Tourism to India – http://www.indianhealthguru.com
International Patient Experiences – http://www.indianhealthguru.com/testimonials-international-patients-india.html
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