September 1, 2004
Acute knee dislocations are uncommon orthopaedic injuries. Because they often spontaneously reduce before initial evaluation, the true incidence is unknown. Dislocation involves injury to multiple ligaments of the knee, resulting in multidirectional instability. Associated meniscal, osteochondral, and neurovascular injuries are often present and can complicate management. The substantial risk of associated vascular injury mandates that vascular integrity be confirmed by angiography in all suspected knee dislocations. Evaluation and initial management must be performed expeditiously to prevent limb-threatening complications. Definitive management of acute knee dislocation remains a matter of debate; however, surgical reconstruction or repair of all ligamentous injuries likely can help in achieving the return of adequate knee function. Important considerations in surgical management include surgical timing, graft selection, surgical technique, and postoperative rehabilitation.