Complex Multi Ligament Injury2016-10-12T12:39:55-04:00

Complex Multi Ligament Injury

knee arthroscopy Blacksburg VA

What is a Complex Multi Ligament Injury

A complex multi ligament injury occurs when more than one of the main ligaments in the knee sustains injury or a tear. These injuries can occur during sports activities or through high-energy trauma such as a fall from height or a car accident.

In the past, injuring more than one knee ligament would put an end to future sports activities. Thanks to advances in technology, many athletes today are able to return to high level sports following multiple ligament injuries.

Symptoms of Multi Ligament Injury

Multi-ligament knee injuries generally occur in high-impact sports where people are struck or tackled, such as football. Other causes include traumatic injury, a direct blow to the knee, skiing or automobile accidents, or a fall from a height.

Multi-ligament knee trauma is a complex injury pattern that produces a range of symptoms, including:

  • Severe pain
  • Swelling of the knee
  • Knee instability
  • Inability to walk
  • Lack of control of the limb
  • Damage to nerves or arteries in the leg, especially if the knee is dislocated

Most all multi ligament knee injuries will require surgery to help restore the function and stabilize the knee.

Treatment for Multi Ligament Injury

Nearly all cases of multi ligament knee injury will require surgery. The goal of surgery is reduce pain, restore knee stability, regain full range of motion, and to eventually allow a patient to return to functional and possibly athletic activities in the future. Early treatment allows for improved function during the healing process, return to an active lifestyle and a decrease in the progression of arthritis in the future.

After it is determined that ligaments are torn and require reconstruction, patients are prescribed physical therapy to work on regaining full motion before surgery and to decrease knee swelling.  All patients wear a brace to protect the knee after surgery.

 Surgical Treatment of Multi Ligament Injury

Surgery may be performed all at once or staged in some cases. Autograft or allografts can be used. Surgery is performed arthroscopically, to address the ACL, PCL and any meniscal damage. Reconstruction of the MCL or LCL are performed open.

Following multi-ligament knee reconstruction, patients typically wear a brace and do not bear any weight on the knee for approximately six weeks. A comprehensive physical therapy program is necessary to regain, flexibility, stability and strength. As with all surgical procedures, specific recovery time varies by patient and demand.

A post surgical rehabilitation plan will be designed to get you up and using your knee as soon as possible. The best results come from following exercises and a strengthening regime that is learned in physical therapy.

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