Hinged External fixation in the treatment of knee dislocations a prospective randomized study

Academic Article


  • Background: Our hypothesis was that patients treated with hinged external fixators as an adjunct to multiple-ligament reconstruction would have fewer reconstruction failures than patients treated without external fixation. Methods: In this prospective randomized study, patients with a knee dislocation either underwent ligament reconstruction with placement of an external hinged knee brace following surgery (Group A) or underwent ligament reconstruction with placement of a hinged external fixator (Compass Knee Hinge) for six weeks instead of the brace (Group B). The patients were followed clinically and were evaluated with physical examination, Lysholm and International Knee Documentation Committee knee scores, visual analog scale pain scores, and status regarding return to work and activities. Results: One hundred patients with 103 knee dislocations were enrolled. Seventy-seven patients with seventy-nine dislocations (thirty-two in Group A and forty-seven in Group B), with aminimum follow-up interval of twelve months, were available for evaluation. Themean duration of follow-up was thirty-ninemonths (range, twelve to eighty-sixmonths).Nine patients (29%) inGroup A had failed reconstructions compared with seven (15%) in Group B (p = 0.15). Group-A patients had twenty-two (21%) of 105 reconstructed individual ligaments fail compared with eleven (7%) of 157 reconstructed ligaments in Group B. The difference in ligament failure was significant (p < 0.001; power > 0.8), with more favorable results for the patients managed with the external fixation. Conclusions: Hinged external fixation as a supplement to reconstruction following knee dislocation was associated with fewer failed ligament reconstructions compared with external bracing. Patients presenting with highly unstable knee dislocations should be considered for hinged external fixation to supplement initial reconstructive procedures. Level of Evidence: Therapeutic Level I. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence. Copyright © 2014 by the journal of bone and joint surgery, incorporated.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Stannard JP; Nuelle CW; McGwin G; Volgas DA
  • Start Page

  • 184
  • End Page

  • 191
  • Volume

  • 96
  • Issue

  • 3