Management of acute knee dislocations: anatomic repair and ligament bracing as a new treatment option—results of a multicentre study

  • M. HeitmannEmail author
  • R. Akoto
  • M. Krause
  • P. Hepp
  • C. Schöpp
  • T. J. Gensior
  • C. Bartl
  • H. Lill
  • Karl-Heinz Frosch



The literature shows no consensus regarding the best method and timing for the treatment of acute knee dislocations. Studies indicate that a one-stage procedure performed in the early stages of injury can lead to superior results. The aim of this study was to evaluate the results after performing early surgical repair with additional suture augmentation (ligament bracing) of all torn ligaments in acute knee dislocations.


In this prospective multicentre study, 73 patients with an acute type III or IV knee dislocation were treated with one-stage ligament bracing within 10 days. Twenty-six patients sustained a type III medial dislocation, thirty-nine patients sustained a type III lateral dislocation, and eight patients presented a type IV dislocation. Four patients were lost to follow-up. Within the follow-up evaluation, various scores were collected (International Knee Documentation Committee IKDC Score, Tegner Score and Lysholm Score). Additional stress radiography was performed (Telos™) postoperatively.


Sixty-nine knee dislocations (Schenck III and IV) with a follow-up at a mean of 14 ± 1.6 months were evaluated. The average IKDC score was 75.5 ± 14.5, the average Lysholm score was 81.0 ± 15.5, and the median loss of activity in the Tegner score was 1 (range 0–3) point. Stress radiographs showed side-to-side differences at a mean of 3.2 ± 1.3 mm for the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and of 2.9 ± 2.1 mm for the posterior cruciate ligament (PCL). The operative revision rate (early and late) was 17.4%. In the early stage, one wound infection and one case of transient common peroneal nerve (CPN) paresis were successfully revised. In the later stage, four patients with knee stiffness and six cases with symptomatic knee instability needed reoperation. Patients without ultra-low velocity (ULV) dislocations or CPN showed good or excellent results in 87.5% according to the Lysholm score.


In cases of acute knee dislocation, primary ACL and PCL transosseous sutures with additional suture augmentation predominantly lead to good and excellent clinical results. Obese patients sustaining ultra-low velocity (ULV) dislocations and patients following injury to the CPN show inferior outcomes. In patients without ULV and CPN intraoperative and postoperative complications occurred in 10.1%. The obtained results and revision rates show that early primary suture repair is a promising option.

Level of evidence

Prospective multicentre study, II.


Knee Knee dislocation Suture repair ACL PCL Ligament bracing 



The study was funded by Asklepios Kliniken Hamburg GmbH.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

All authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

Ethical approval was given by the ethics committee of the Medical Chamber of Hamburg, Germany (ID PV4458).


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Copyright information

© European Society of Sports Traumatology, Knee Surgery, Arthroscopy (ESSKA) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Sports Medicine and Sports TraumatologyArgon OrthopedicsHamburgGermany
  2. 2.Division for Sports OrthopedicsENDO-KlinikHamburgGermany
  3. 3.Department of Trauma and Reconstructive Surgery with Division of Knee and Shoulder Surgery, Sports TraumatologyAsklepios Clinic St. GeorgHamburgGermany
  4. 4.Clinic of Trauma, Hand and Reconstructive SurgeryUniversity Medical Center Hamburg-EppendorfHamburgGermany
  5. 5.Department of Orthopedics, Trauma and Plastic SurgeryUniversity of LeipzigLeipzigGermany
  6. 6.Clinic for Arthroscopic Surgery, Sports Traumatology and Sports MedicineBG ClinicDuisburgGermany
  7. 7.Center of Orthopedics, Osteoporosis and Sports MedicineZOOOM MunichMunichGermany
  8. 8.Clinic of Trauma and Reconstructive SurgeryDiakovere FriederikenstiftHannoverGermany
  9. 9.Trauma Committee of the AGA (Society for Arthroscopy and Joint Surgery)ZürichSwitzerland

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