Poly-traumatic multi-ligament knee injuries: is the knee the limiting factor?

Jarret M. Woodmass, Nick R. Johnson, Rohith Mohan, Aaron J. Krych, Bruce A. Levy, Michael J. Stuart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Purpose: Multi-ligament knee injuries (MLKI) from a high-velocity accident are rare but potentially devastating. This matched cohort analysis compares knee functional outcomes after multiple ligament reconstruction in poly-trauma patients to those that occurred in isolation. Methods: Sixty-two patients with MLKI that occurred either as a component of polytrauma or had occurred in isolation were matched according to age, sex, and knee dislocation grade. Functional outcomes and knee physical examination were assessed at a 2-year follow-up. New Injury Severity Score (NISS) was calculated based on the poly-traumatic injury pattern. Risk factors for worse outcomes in the poly-trauma cohort were analyzed. Results: The mean IKDC, Lysholm, and NISS scores in the polytrauma cohort were 57.2 ± 21.9, 62 ± 22, and 40.9 ± 20.4, respectively, at a mean of 67 months (range 24–220). The isolated knee injury group was followed for a mean of 74 months (range 24–266) with mean IKDC and Lysholm scores of 71.1 ± 26.5 and 78 ± 23, respectively. Patients in the control cohort had significantly higher IKDC (p = 0.01) and Lysholm scores, (p = 0.003). There were no major differences between the two groups in regards physical examination findings at final follow-up. None of the analyzed risk factors was predictive of poor outcome. Conclusion: When comparing knees with similar multi-ligament and neurovascular injury patterns, patients who sustained their injury as a result of poly-trauma demonstrated significantly lower functional scores following reconstruction. This is despite restoration of similar knee stability and range of motion. The functional outcomes following MLKI reconstruction in poly-traumatized patients are influenced by factors other than the knee including concomitant injuries and psychosocial factors. Level of evidence: Therapeutic Level III.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2865-2871
Number of pages7
JournalKnee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2018


  • Knee dislocation
  • Multi-ligament knee injury (MLKI)
  • Multi-ligament reconstruction
  • Poly-trauma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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