Knee Dislocation Surgery Clinical Presentation

Updated: Oct 19, 2021
  • Author: John R Green III, MD; Chief Editor: Thomas M DeBerardino, MD, FAAOS, FAOA  more...
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History and Physical Examination

In isolated knee dislocations, patients are usually able to describe the mechanism of injury and the intense pain associated with dislocation. Since many of these injuries are high-energy motor vehicle collisions, evaluation for life-threatening injuries is the first priority. [14]

In the secondary survey, evaluation of the limb usually reveals an obvious deformity of the knee. The appearance of knee dislocations may be less dramatic in individuals who are obese. The limb should be examined thoroughly for pulses, capillary refill, sensation, and motor strength. Vascular compromise may present as a stocking-glove type distribution of hypesthesia or anesthesia, decreased capillary refill, cyanosis, and poikilothermia. [15]  Distal pulses may be absent, and an expanding hematoma, bruit, or thrill may be present in the popliteal fossa.