Management of complex knee ligament injuries.
The ideal management of the dislocated knee remains controversial. These injuries often can be elusive; a significant number of dislocated knees spontaneously reduce and appear relatively benign on routine radiographs. A high index of suspicion, based on the mechanism of injury, soft-tissue assessment of the limb, and the level of knee instability should alert the physician to the possibility of a dislocated knee. Early recognition and appropriate neurovascular assessment is paramount to the successful treatment of these complex injuries. Controversies exist regarding surgical versus nonsurgical management, early versus delayed surgery, the use of allograft versus autograft tissue, the decision to repair versus reconstruct torn ligamentous structures, and the type of reconstruction technique and postoperative rehabilitation program. To achieve optimal patient care, it is important to be aware of the current evaluation and treatment strategies for complex knee ligament injuries, including modern anatomic reconstruction techniques. Current recommendations include measurement of the ankle-brachial indices in each patient, early surgical management, the use of autograft or allograft tissue, reconstruction as opposed to repair alone of the fibular collateral ligament/posterolateral corner structures, reconstruction of the anterior and posterior cruciate ligaments, and repair and/or reconstruction of the medial collateral ligament/posteromedial corner depending on the injury pattern and the quality of tissue.