For some unfortunate patients the injury that they sustain does damage to more than one ligament in their knee joint. This means that there has been a combination of injuries to the collateral ligaments or the cruciate ligaments or both. These injuries often carry with them a risk of damaging nerves and arteries around the knee joint.
In a small percentage of multiligament knee injuries the knee actually dislocates. This means the tibia and femur no longer line up and a knee dislocation is a concerning orthopaedic injury which requires prompt and expert care
In most multiligament knee injuries, the surgery is done in the first two weeks before scar tissue makes the reconstruction more difficult. In the first few weeks a repair of ligaments is often possible. If the initial window of opportunity to repair the ligaments is missed the reconstruction of ligaments replacing them with new ligaments is often the best option for the patient.
Occasionally staged procedures are required to avoid operating for too long on the injured knee.
Published results on multiligament knee injuries show concerning results for patients in terms of ability to return to sport and long term outcomes in terms of osteoarthritis. That said, the majority of patients with these type of injuries can expect a stable knee joint and a knee joint that will allow them to walk on reliably.
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