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Elite rugby player given ACL reconstruction and anterolateral (ALL) ligament reconstruction.

Gareth, who is also an elite level rugby player, tore his right ACL.

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TAGGED INProf Adrian Wilson

Knee ligament injuries

Knee sports injuries and trauma

Knee ligament surgery

Gareth, a physiology student, had had a rugby scholarship and a trial for Saracens. He thought his knee was recovering from the injury when it collapsed again.

Adrian met Gareth some time before his injury when he was working as a healthcare assistant – he hopes to do medicine in the not too distant future.

During a rugby training session, Gareth suffered a typical non-contact injury to his right knee. He heard the classic ‘pop’ associated with an ACL rupture. Before coming to see Adrian, he was managing with physio, however he was unable to perform any activity which involved twisting his knee.
Just before Gareth’s appointment with Adrian, it collapsed again. An MRI confirmed he had a clear ACL rupture.

Due to the significant instability that he had, Adrian recommended an ACL reconstruction. In addition and due to this instability, Adrian also carried out an anterolateral (ALL) ligament reconstruction using a double-gracilis graft.

Gareth has made a very good recovery and Adrian is delighted with how well he is doing. Adrian summarises:
“Gareth represents a classic tale in the UK of a sportsman having a twisting injury and not getting an early MRI scan and referral through to a knee specialist, which is really what should be happening. Sadly, the average time to surgery in the United Kingdom after injury like this is 12-18 months. In Japan they consider patients to be chronic if the ACL is left untreated more than six weeks!”

Professor Adrian Wilson:

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