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September 1976

Knee Dislocation: An Illusive Cause of Critical Arterial Occlusion

Author Affiliations

From the Cora and Webb Mading Department of Surgery, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston. Dr Lefrak is now with the Division of Cardiopulmonary Surgery, University of Oregon Health Sciences Center, Portland.

Arch Surg. 1976;111(9):1021-1024. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1976.01360270093018

• Popliteal artery injury is a hazardous and often subtle complication of traumatic knee dislocation. Review of the literature in which series of knee dislocations were reported has revealed a 28% incidence of thrombosis or rupture of this critical vessel. Fifty-seven percent of these patients required leg amputation. The most frequent cause of limb loss has been absence or delay of direct surgical repair of the associated popliteal artery injury. This report describes a management plan that is intended to minimize the likelihood of future disabling leg amputations following knee dislocation.

(Arch Surg 111:1021-1024, 1976)