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Posterolateral Corner Knee Injuries Treatment Options

What are the treatment options for posterolateral corner injuries?

Posterolateral corner knee injuries are complex. Treatment options depend on the severity of the damage, the degree of instability and the patient’s overall health.

Conservative non-surgical management

Mild and moderate posterolateral corner injuries may initially be treated with non-surgical management, a combination of rest, knee immobilization, crutches, icing, and physical therapy.

Surgical treatments

Severe injuries will require ligament repair or reconstruction surgery. Studies report that anatomic reconstruction provides better results than repair.

The specific surgical procedure depends on the individual case. Dr. Godin may choose to use one or more of the following approaches:

  1. Reconstruction of the lateral collateral ligament (LCL)
  2. Reconstruction of the Popliteofiburlar ligament (PFL)
  3. Repair of the popliteus tendon
  4. Repair of the posterolateral capsule
  5. Use of allografts or autografts to reconstruct the damaged structures.

Dr. Godin may use a combination of techniques and approaches including arthroscopic and open surgery to treat injuries to the posterolateral corner based on the severity of the injuries. Ligament reconstruction surgery involves the replacement of a severely damaged ligament with a tissue graft acquired from another area of the patient’s body or a donor graft. When one of the cruciate ligaments is also damaged, he will also treat that damage.

Post-operative Rehabilitation

Early post operative rehabilitation is critical to help the patient regain strength, flexibility, and knee function. It should be initiated as soon as possible. Rehabilitation involves a combination of physical therapy and bracing. Rehabilitation protocols differ depending on which and how many knee structures were injured and repaired or replaced.

Most patients will require approximately 3 – 6 months to recover. However, this will depend on the type of procedure performed as well as the individual’s response to surgery. Dr. Godin will give you specific instructions on weight bearing and activity level following your procedure. Return to play varies case by case.

Posterolateral corner injuries are complex and often require complex treatments. Dr. Jonathan Godin is a renowned board-certified orthopedic surgeon and a leader in sports medicine. He received fellowship training in advanced arthroscopic and reconstructive surgical techniques for the treatment of complex orthopedic and sports related injuries at the distinguished Steadman Clinic in Vail Colorado. Contact Dr. Godin at his Vail, Frisco, or Edwards, Colorado office to schedule a consultation to receive the correct diagnosis and all your treatment options.

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