Multi ligament injuries

Injuries to more than one ligament in the knee are serious injuries normally resulting from extreme force. The combination of ligaments injured depends on the direction of force and position of the leg at the time of injury. The patient may have other injuries such as fractures and dislocations elsewhere requiring emergency treatment.

Sporting injuries can result in combined ACL/MCL and combined PCL/LCL injuries and a staged approach may be taken, bracing the knee initially to allow one ligament to heal before undertaking reconstruction of the other injury.

Often all of the injured ligaments will need to be repaired or reconstructed and this can be very complex surgery taking 3-4 hours to perform. Mr Gallacher sees and treats patients with this type of complex knee injury who are often referred on from their local hospital for his specialist service.

Higher energy injuries may result in a knee dislocation, fracture or damage to the major nerves and blood vessels around the knee. These are surgical emergencies and you will normally be admitted to hospital from the time of injury and surgical stabilisation will be undertaken within 2 weeks. A temporary external fixator may be applied across the knee to allow the soft tissues to settle before surgical treatment of the ligaments is undertaken.

These injuries are often associated with damage to the meniscus and joint surface and the long term results can be very varied. There is a high risk of ongoing stiffness or instability (wobbliness) and of post traumatic arthritis.