Multi-Ligament Knee Reconstruction
In the normal functioning knee, the femur (thigh bone) and tibia (shin bone) are stabilized by a system of ligaments. A ligament is essentially a rope made of organized collagen fibers, which secure the knee from bending or shifting in an incorrect direction during activity. The native knee consists of four ligaments, one on each side of the knee and two in the middle, which protect and stabilize the knee throughout normal motion.
A single ligament tear is common in sports injuries and can be repaired or reconstructed to provide a stable knee to continue with an active lifestyle. The most common example of this would be an isolated anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear, often seen in soccer, basketball, football, and other twisting sports, such as skiing.
A more severe injury can result in the disruption of several of the ligaments simultaneously and result in a complete knee dislocation. A knee dislocation can involve any combination of the ligaments as well as the surrounding capsule or muscles. Knee dislocations will often include injuries to the cartilage, meniscus, and potentially, an associated fracture to the surrounding bones. This type of injury is much less common and considerably more challenging to repair. These injuries most often occur after high-energy trauma, such as automobile accidents or long falls.
The approach to reconstruction for multi-ligament knee injuries takes into account the severity of the injury and precisely where the instability results. There are many other injuries associated with knee dislocation, such as arterial injuries or nerve injuries. Vascular or nerve injuries are the most difficult to repair and recover and may require a collaborative effort with other doctors, such as a vascular surgeon. Our goal is to completely repair and reconstruct the knee to establish full function and motion. These types of repairs take considerable preoperative planning and often require considerable postoperative rehabilitation.
We aim to address any and all coexisting cartilage, osseous, and meniscal injuries at the same time as we reconstruct the ligamentous injuries. Considering all factors included in the repair, the rehabilitation is substantial and will likely take up to a year for full return of function, but our goal is to get every patient back to his or her high level of activity.
To learn more about multi-ligament knee reconstruction, schedule an appointment with one of our joint preservation surgeons by calling 888-660-2663 or complete the appointment request box.