Multi-Ligament Knee Injuries
What is a multi-ligament knee injury?
A multi-ligament knee injury involves injury to two or more ligaments of the knee. These injuries are usually high energy in nature – meaning motor vehicle accidents are most common, but we do see these type of injuries in skiing and football injuries at the higher levels. The knee has four major ligaments – the Anterior Cruciate Ligament, Posterior Cruciate Ligament, Lateral Collateral Ligament, and Medial Collateral Ligament. There is also a “fifth ligament” of the knee which is the posterior lateral corner, which is a complex of multiple small ligaments and muscles.
A knee with multiple ligaments damaged requires special care. Some of these ligaments can be repaired if they are addressed early enough – within 3 weeks. This is especially crucial for the posterior lateral corner which is often misdiagnosed or neglected with bad results. A multi-ligament knee will often require serial surgeries for repair of certain structures and then reconstruction of other ligaments. Dr Shepard received special training in multi-ligament injuries with William Clancy MD at the American Sports Medicine Institute. Because of his expertise in treating these difficult injuries, The UCI Medical Center asked Dr Shepard to treat all of the multi-ligament knee traumas and knee dislocations at their trauma center.