To evaluate the short-term effectiveness after static anatomical reconstruction of posterolateral complex (PLC) in the treatment of traumatic multi-ligament injury of the knee.
Between June 2007 and July 2011, 23 cases of multi-ligament injury of the knee were treated. There were 15 males and 8 females with an average age of 41 years (range, 19-56 years). The injury was caused by traffic accident in 9 cases, sprain in 7 cases, bruise in 3 cases, and falling from height in 4 cases. The time between injury and operation was 13-78 days (mean, 32 days). The results of posterior drawer test and Lachman test were positive, and all cases complicated by varus and external rotation instability. The Lysholm score of the knee was 43.4 +/- 5.7. According to International Knee Documentation Committee (IKDC) scoring, all were rated as grade D. According to Fanelli typing, all were classified as type C. The X-ray films showed that load-induced posterior motion of the knee was (13.3 +/- 4.2) mm; the lateral joint space was (15.1 +/- 2.4) mm. Anterior cruciate ligament/posterior cruciate ligament and PLC were reconstructed simultaneously with auto-semitendinosus, gracilis tendon, and allogeneic tendon.
All incisions healed by first intention, and no complication occurred. All patients were followed up 12-56 months (mean, 28 months). At last follow-up, the results of posterior drawer test and Lachman test were negative; 3 cases had varus instability, and 2 cases had external rotation instability. The Lysholm score of the knee was 85.6 +/- 16.7, showing significant difference when compared with preoperative score (t=-11.469, P=0.000). According to IKDC scoring, 7 cases were rated as grade A, 12 as grade B, and 4 as grade C; significant difference was found when compared with preoperative value (Z=4.285, P=0.000). The load-induced posterior motion of the knee was (5.1 +/- 4.4) mm, the lateral joint space was (3.2 +/- 2.8) mm, showing significant differences when compared with preoperative ones (P < 0.05).
In the treatment of traumatic multi-ligament injury of the knee, the anatomical reconstruction of the PLC using auto-semitendinosus, gracilis tendon, or allogeneic tendon can obtain good short-term effectiveness.