What is a Multi-Ligament Knee Injury or 'Dislocated Knee'

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Dr. Jordan Leith, MD, MHSc, FRCPC, Orthopedic Surgeon, discusses What is a Multi-Ligament Knee Injury or 'Dislocated Knee'

Dr. Jordan Leith, MD, MHSc, FRCPC, Orthopedic Surgeon, discusses What is a Multi-Ligament Knee Injury or 'Dislocated Knee'

Video transcript

Dr. Jordan Leith, MD, MHSc, FRCPC, Sport Med Orthopedic Surgeon What is a Multi-Ligament Knee Injury or 'Dislocated Knee' Multi-ligament knee injury of the knee is also known or defined as a knee dislocation. If we look at a knee model, from the front, this is your kneecap, your femur or thigh bone, your tibia or shin bone.

The lateral or outside part of the knee, you’ve got the lateral collateral ligament. On the medial on inside part of the knee, is the medial collateral ligament. On the back of the knee you’ve got your posterior cruciate ligament.

And inside the knee, you have the anterior cruciate ligament. Those are the four ligaments that help provide stability to the knee. When you have a multi-ligament knee injury or a knee dislocation, it usually involves a combination of two, but usually three, ligaments being completely ruptured.

This is a significant injury. It usually requires transport to an emergency department. It is associated with nerve injury. It’s also associated with potentially a vascular injury, and therefore, when you have a knee dislocation or a multi ligament injury, you should go or bet transferred to the emergency department for investigation for those more serious injuries involving your nerves or the vessels around the knee joint.

Treatment for a multi-ligament or knee dislocation usually requires a period of hospitalization and stabilization of the knee with knee bracing. It may require acute surgical intervention to repair and reconstruct all the ligaments involved.

It may require vascular surgery to repair any vascular injury, or nerve surgery to potentially repair a major nerve injury that can be associated with this type of injury. If you don’t require surgery immediately, you will be discharged from hospital in a stabilizing knee brace.

You will likely need physiotherapy initially. Once you get through the acute phase of this sort of injury, and one that didn’t require surgery initially, you will likely require surgery at a later date to reconstruct those ligaments on a more elective basis. And this will involve tendon grafts or donated tendon grafts to reconstruct the multiple ligaments involved.

If you suffered a multi ligament knee injury or have questions about this sort of injury, seek consultation with your family doctor or get a referral to an orthopedic surgeon.

Presenter: Dr. Jordan Leith, Orthopaedic Surgeon, Vancouver, BC

Local Practitioners: Orthopaedic Surgeon

This content is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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