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Multi-Ligament Knee Injuries

Are you an athlete who participates in contact sports? If so, you may be at risk of sustaining a complex knee injury. Severe high-energy injuries can result in a knee dislocation which can tear multiple ligaments in the knee. Complex knee injury specialist, Dr. Nikhil Verma provides diagnosis and both surgical and nonsurgical treatment options for patients in Chicago who have developed a complex knee injury. Contact Dr. Verma’s team today!

An Overview on Multi-Ligament Knee Injuries

The knee is composed of four main ligaments that help stabilize the joint and provide the function required for everyday activities and sports activities. The four ligaments of the knee work together to prevent unnatural, excessive movement between the tibia and femur. When a torn ligament in the knee occurs, the knee loses its natural ability to function. Chicago, Westchester, Oak Brook and Hinsdale, Illinois area knee specialist, Dr. Nikhil Verma helps active individuals return to the activities they love following multiple knee ligament injuries.

The four main ligaments of the knee include:

  • Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL)
  • Posterior cruciate ligament (PCL)
  • Medial collateral ligament (MCL)
  • Lateral collateral ligament (LCL), or fibular collateral ligament (FCL)

The majority of knee ligament injuries involve a single torn ligament in the knee, but in certain cases multiple ligaments can be damaged during the same traumatic event. Multi-ligament knee injuries occur as extreme trauma from a fall from a height, automobile accident or a direct blow to the knee during sports. When more than one torn ligament in the knee occurs, the joint becomes unstable and is at an increased risk of another serious knee injury. When multiple ligaments of the knee are damaged, the knee can move out of joint and injure the nearby arteries and nerves.

Symptoms of Multiple Knee Ligament Injuries

Pain, swelling, deformity and instability following an acute trauma are the hallmark symptoms of multiple knee ligament injuries. The ligaments of the knee are not functioning properly so patients may experience knee instability and walking may be difficult, if not impossible. If more than one torn ligament of the knee occurs, a patient may experience injury to the nerves and blood vessels, leading to numbness, tingling or weakness. In most cases, an emergency room evaluation is required due to the severity of the injury.

Diagnosis of Multiple Knee Ligament Injuries

If more than one torn ligament in the knee occurs, it is critical to seek medical care immediately because of the increased risk of injury to the neurovascular structures of the leg. If the knee has been dislocated, it will be placed back into the joint (reduced) upon arrival at the ER. Once the knee is in correct position, Dr. Verma will be able to perform a thorough physical examination to determine the full extent of injury. An MRI will be performed in most cases so he can view the entire knee anatomy and determine the affected ligaments of the knee.

Treatment of Multiple Knee Ligament Injuries

Early surgery is required in most cases where multiple ligaments of the knee are injured. If swelling is too severe, surgery may be delayed under Dr. Verma’s guidance. Surgery will be performed as soon as possible to repair ligament damage, prevent further nerve damage, improve function and decrease the patient’s chances of arthritis in the future.

Dr. Verma will attempt to repair or reconstruct all the torn ligaments of the knee during one surgical procedure. He will perform a complete repair or reconstruction utilizing grafts to restore the knee’s original anatomy. Numerous techniques will be used to reattach the ligaments and address the ligament tears.

For more information on multiple knee ligament injuries, please contact Dr. Nikhil Verma, knee specialist serving the Chicago, Westchester, Oak Brook and Hinsdale, Illinois area.

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