It consists of three basic anatomical structures (lateral collateral ligament, medial hamstring tendon, lateral hamstring tendon) and its role is to contribute to the stability of the knee. The posterolateral corner is a complex of ligaments that resists varus forces (excessive inward displacement of the two articulated bones), and rotation of the joint.
Although the ligaments are designed to withstand stress, when the forces exerted exceed their tolerance levels, as can happen in contact sports, or in a traffic accident, then they are torn. The rupture of the posterolateral corner is considered to be a sports injury, although an “underappreciated” one, since it is almost always accompanied by other ligament ruptures (of the anterior and posterior cruciate ligaments), while concomitant lesions in the meniscus or cartilage, may also be observed.;
HIGH RISK GROUPS
A publication in The Bone & Joint Journal in 2011, for which hospital patient records of patients with instability were examined, point out that this injury was only recognized where other ligament injuries coexisted. The researchers conclude by suggesting more meticulousness regarding the examination of patients with symptoms of instability, in order for orthopaedists to suggest the appropriate treatment, being aware of the actual extent of the injury. This is because the failure to treat the posterolateral corner lesion is often the cause of failure of the posterior cruciate ligament reconstruction.
WHICH IS THE BEST TREATMENT?
Diagnosis is performed through the obtaining of a history and a thorough clinical examination - the knee is swollen due to blood which has accumulated in the joint (hemarthrosis) and has great difficulty in flexing – this can be confirmed through an MRI. Depending on the severity of rupture, the treatment may be conservative, as is the case in individual or partial ones, or either surgical.