December 09, 2014
1 min read

Multiligamentous knee injuries can occur more frequently in obese patients

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Obese patients were significantly more likely to experience a multiligamentous knee injury caused by low-energy mechanisms, according to study results.

Researchers performed a chart review of 126 multiligamentous knee injuries (MLKIs) from 123 patients to collect demographic data, mechanism of injury, ligaments involved, complications and associated neurovascular injuries. Patients included the study had injury to two or more knee ligaments, multiligament repair or reconstruction performed by one of three sports medicine orthopaedic surgeons at the researchers’ institution and a minimum of 1 year follow-up. The researchers divided patients by body mass index (BMI) into non-obese and obese groups.

Results showed 87 MLKIs occurred in non-obese patients vs. 39 in obese patients. Non-obese patients experienced 8.05% surgical complication rate, whereas obese patients had a 15.4% surgical complication rate. The researchers also found 8.05% of non-obese patients needed revision vs. 5.1% of obese patients.

Wound complications were only found in the obese group, according to the researchers. Obese patients also experienced a higher percentage of injuries, with 7.7% of patients experiencing vascular injuries vs. 2.3% in non-obese patients and 20.51% experiencing nerve injuries vs. 11.49% of non-obese patients. Disregarding sports-related injuries, MLKIs from low-energy mechanisms were more likely to occur in the obese group.

According to a logistic model and BMI as a continuous variable, a one-unit increase in BMI increased the odds ratio of complications by 9.2%.

Disclosure: Wolf received support from Scientific Advisory Board and United Healthcare.