The knee is integral to mobility and the largest and most complex joint in the body.

INJURY
Combined Knee Ligament Injuries

ABOUT
The knee is integral to mobility and the largest and most complex joint in the body. Ligament sprain and tears are common injuries in sports and to have combined knee ligament injuries is possible.

COMMON INJURY
Knee ligament injuries are a common sports injury due to direct contact, changing direction suddenly while running, or coming down incorrectly from a jump. A ligament injury is considered a “sprain” and graded on a scale of severity. Grade 1 is considered mild because the ligament has been stretched but continues to support the joint. Grade 2 is a partial tear and the ligament is loose. Grade 3 is a complete tear and the ligament is severed, leaving the knee joint unstable. Injuring two or more ligaments at the same time can cause serious complications, such as nerve damage, blood supply disruption or in very severe situations it could lead to amputation.

DIAGNOSIS
If you suspect that you have a combined knee ligament injury, you will need to get a physical exam as soon as possible by your physician.

SURGICAL TREATMENT
Surgery is done immediately following the injury and may require an orthopedic surgeon to additionally call on a vascular surgeon or microsurgeon. More than one operation may be required and results are not as consistent as single ligament surgeries. However, there is a possibility for the injured to return to high level sports.

Combined Knee Ligament Injuries
Tears of the anterior cruciate ligament (left) can occur along with injuries to the medial collateral ligament (right).
Image courtesy of AAOS