I found a fascinating posting today on some site called Big Bob's Knee Blog* or something like that. It's about ACL allografts (i.e. tissue from a cadaver) failing because the tissue disintegrates!
Aaaaaaaaiieeeeeeeee! Something new to worry about.
This discovery led to me searching on "disintegrate allograft ACL". I'm happy to report I haven't found much (yet). But I did learn that a GoreTex synthetic ACL option exists. http://bioweb.usc.edu/courses/2003-spring/documents/bisc406-a.broosan.pdf
It has a high failure rate, so even if I had known about it before my surgery I wouldn't have wanted it. But it is cool to think that some day you could replace an ACL with man-made material.
One of the links to the right covers work early physicians did trying to find a suitable ACL substitute, such as using braided silk thread. Which reminds me that there's a book out there about the evolution of successful blood transfusion. You wouldn't believe what some poor woulded souls had to suffer coursing through their veins all in the name of science -- pig's blood, coconut milk. I heard the author on NPR a long time ago but have never followed up to read the book. The horror of what happens when your body rejects pig's blood has never left me.
Merde! What a morbid post!
*The actual site www.factotem.org/cgi-bin/kneebbs.pl/read/294003