UMEM Educational Pearls

Category: Orthopedics

Title: Knee dislocation

Keywords: knee dislocation, vascular and nerve injury, vascular emergency (PubMed Search)

Posted: 12/26/2014 by Brian Corwell, MD (Emailed: 12/27/2014) (Updated: 12/27/2014)
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Knee Dislocation

Following reduction and immobilization, a thorough vascular assessment should follow. Any signs of vascular injury should prompt immediate vascular consultation (pallor, absent or diminished pulses)

1) Palpate popliteal and distal pulses

2) Measure ankle-brachial index (*ABI) (<0.9 = abnormal)

3) Duplex ultrasound (if available)

*ABI ratio of SBP in lower (DP/PT) and upper (brachial) extremities.

**Evaluation is often institutional specific. Discuss with your consultants.

A) If strong pulses normal ABI and normal u/s admit patient for observation with serial vascular examinations.

B) If the limb is still well perfused but the pulses are asymmetric or ABI is abnormal or US is abnormal then consult vascular surgery and obtain arteriogram (expanding role for CTA here).

C) If pulses are weak or absent or distal signs of ischemic limb then obtain emergent vascular consultation for surgical repair.