A 53-year-old woman presented with an unstable and painful total knee arthroplasty 6 months after the index procedure. Disruption of both collateral ligaments as a young adult and the subsequent development of traumatic arthritis required repeated surgical and extensive conservative treatment before a prosthesis was implanted. Examination disclosed marked instability of the lateral collateral ligament (LCL) and loosening of the tibial and the femoral components. Review of the MRI obtained prior to the total knee replacement revealed discontinuity of the LCL with intense scarring of the posterolateral ligament complex. Definitive management of this twofold problem was not helped by literature review, which failed to reveal a gold standard or a broad consensus as a rationale for treatment. Consequently, an individual approach to the problem was defined: A one-stage revision arthroplasty was performed using a modular non-articulated constrained prosthesis and a bone–tendon–bone allograft to reconstruct the LCL in a one-stage operation. Postoperative rehabilitation included continuous passive motion, which was begun immediately after surgery and was gradually increased to 90° of flexion. The LCL reconstruction was initially protected in a hinged knee brace and weight-bearing was initially limited to toe-touch and gradually increased over 6 weeks. Pain-free motion to 0–115° flexion was achieved at 3 months after surgery and the patient had returned to her normal activities. The 4-year-follow-up displayed a stable and functional knee with no evidence of loosening or wear.
About the HSS Journal
HSS Journal, an academic peer-reviewed journal, is published twice a year, February and September, and features articles by internal faculty and HSS alumni that present current research and clinical work in the field of musculoskeletal medicine performed at HSS, including research articles, surgical procedures, and case reports.