Gregory C. Fanelli, M.D. * [MEDLINE LOOKUP] Daniel R. Orcutt, M.D., M.S. [MEDLINE LOOKUP] Craig J. Edson, M.S., P.T., A.T.C. [MEDLINE LOOKUP]
Abstract TOP Abstract The multiple-ligament injured knee is a complex problem in orthopaedic surgery. Most dislocated knees involve tears of the anterior and posterior cruciate ligaments (ACL/PCL) and at least 1 collateral ligament complex. Careful assessment of the extremity vascular status is essential because of the possibility of arterial and/or venous compromise. These complex injuries require a systematic approach to evaluation and treatment. Physical examination and imaging studies enable the surgeon to make a correct diagnosis and to formulate a treatment plan. Arthroscopically assisted combined ACL/PCL reconstruction is a reproducible procedure. Knee stability is improved postoperatively when evaluated using knee ligament rating scales, arthrometer testing, and stress radiographic analysis. Acute medial collateral ligament (MCL) tears, when combined with ACL/PCL tears, may in certain cases be treated with bracing. Posterolateral corner injuries combined with ACL/PCL tears are best treated with primary repair as indicated, combined with reconstruction using a post of strong autograft (split biceps tendon, biceps tendon, semitendinosus) or allograft (Achilles tendon, bone-patellar tendon-bone) tissue. Surgical timing depends on the ligaments injured, the vascular status of the extremity, reduction stability, and the overall health of the patient. We prefer to use allograft tissue for reconstruction in these cases because of the strength of these large grafts and the absence of donor site morbidity.
The Journal of Arthroscopic & Related Surgery. April 2005 Volume 21 Number 4.