Multi-Ligament Reconstruction | Repair Surgeon

Individuals who participate in contact sports are at risk of sustaining a multi-ligament injury. Multi-ligament injuries are serious and require a knee expert to restore stability and strength to the knee. Multi-ligament knee surgeon, Dr. Ronak Mukesh Patel, provides diagnosis and both surgical and nonsurgical treatment options for patients in Sugar Land, Pearland, and the Houston, Texas area who have sustained a multi-ligament knee injury. Contact Dr. Patel’s team today!

What is a multi-ligament knee injury?

The knee is made up of four main ligaments that are responsible for stabilizing and regulating motion. The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and the posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) cross in an “X” pattern in the middle of the knee and limit the frontward and backward motions of the lower leg in relation to the thigh. The medial collateral ligament (MCL) and lateral collateral ligament (LCL) run vertically on the outside of the knee and govern the side-to-side and twisting movements. A multi-ligament knee injury occurs when two or more of these ligaments are damaged due to an accident, serious fall, or sports-related injury.

What can be done for a multi-ligament knee injury?

In the event of a multi-ligament knee injury, surgery is almost always required. This very complex surgery should only be entrusted to a surgeon who specializes in multi-ligament repairs and replacements. The surgery and treatment will be tailored to the individual patients’ needs as well as their long-term goals after surgery. Dr. Ronak Mukesh Patel, orthopedic knee doctor, treats patients in Sugar Land, Pearland, and the Houston, Texas area, who have suffered a multi-ligament tear and need an expert surgeon to repair or reconstruct their knee.

What is the difference between a multi-ligament repair and a multi-ligament  reconstruction?

Each multi-ligament knee injury is different. In some cases, there is enough healthy tissue that the injured ligament can be repaired. More often, the ligament will need to be reconstructed from a tissue graft. Tissue can be taken from the patient’s body, usually from the hamstring (autograft), or from a tissue bank (allograft). Dr. Patel will individually assess each ligament at the time of surgery to determine if repair or reconstruction is best.

How is multi-ligament knee reconstruction done?

Diagnostic imaging, such as an MRI, is important to determine the scope of a multi-ligament knee injury. Dr. Patel will use both open and arthroscopic methods during surgery, depending on which ligaments are injured. After cleaning away any debris and damaged tissue, Dr. Patel will use sutures as well as surgical anchors and buttons to connect the tissue graft to its proper anatomical position. The ligaments will be assessed for strength and range of motion at the end of the surgery.

How long is the recovery after multi-ligament reconstruction?

Patients under the care of Dr. Patel in the Sugarland, Pearland, and Houston, TX area can expect to have a recovery time of about 6-12 months after multi-ligament knee injury reconstruction. This can vary based on age, overall health, and severity of the injury. Crutches and a hinged knee brace will be issued and the knee should remain non-weight-bearing for roughly the first six weeks. Patients should expect to follow the post-operative care determined by Dr. Patel with an early range of motion program. Bruising, pain, and swelling are common and can be managed with ice and NSAID or prescription pain medication. A physical therapy program will start immediately after surgery and will take about 6-12 months. Closely following Dr. Patel’s recovery instructions after a multi-ligament knee injury surgery will greatly reduce the risk of tissue graft failure or re-injury.