Saturday, 24 February 2007

A Multidisciplinary Approach to the Evaluation, Reconstruction and Rehabilitation of the Multi-Ligament Injured Athlete

Department of Orthopaedics & Rehabilitation, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut, USA.
Knee dislocations with multi-ligamentous involvement are potentially limb-threatening injuries that require extensive surgical and rehabilitative intervention. These knee injuries, such as combined anterior cruciate ligament, posterior cruciate ligament, medial collateral ligament and/or lateral collateral ligament injuries, are devastating injuries with results that vary from total disability to nearly full recovery of function. Recent surgical advances, including the use of allograft tissues, have increased the efficacy of these procedures while posing new challenges. By combining scientifically based surgical and rehabilitative approaches, improved outcomes in these difficult cases are being reported in the orthopaedic literature.This review details the epidemiology and biomechanics of these serious knee ligament injuries. In addition, state-of-the-art surgical and rehabilitative techniques will be outlined. Clinical and diagnostic imaging evaluation of these knee injuries is reviewed in order to plan and execute the surgical and rehabilitative practices. We review the basic science, surgical and rehabilitative theories and practices associated with bringing patients with these serious knee injury injuries to full recovery, and detail the development of strategies for developing protocols to address these complicated cases.

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