Athletic knee injuries frequently involve the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and, occasionally, the medial collateral ligament (MCL). Far less common is damage to the posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) and/or lateral collateral ligament (LCL). In rare situations, damage to these less commonly injured structures can occur in isolation but more typically, these ligaments are damaged as a result of severe trauma involving 3 or 4 of the 4 primary knee ligaments. These can be devastating injuries and are far more complex and require much more rehabilitation than an isolated ACL injury.
In acute cases, primary repair of these ligaments can be successfully performed, however, if not addressed within the first 2-3 weeks, reconstruction with ligament grafts becomes the preferred method of correction. There are frequently patient factors, including nerve or blood vessel injury which can be limb-threatening that may require ligament correction to be delayed while focus is placed on saving the leg.
Due to the complexity and potentially limb-threatening nature of these injuries, it is highly recommended that their surgical treatment only be performed by surgeons with high levels of experience and expertise with these problems. In addition to being a highly-regarded sports physician, Ascension Providence is a Level 2 trauma center and therefore Dr. Frush sees an exceptionally high volume of multi-ligament knee injuries from both athletic injuries and high-energy trauma. He also sees many of these injuries from other surgeons from around the state who send these patients to him for definitive correction.