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A Journal on Heart and Vascular Diseases

Official Journal of the Italian Society of Angiology and Vascular Pathology
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Minerva Cardioangiologica 2001 June;49(3):221-8


language: Italian

Popliteal trauma due to posterior dislocation of the knee

Siani A., Intrieri F., Jabbour J., Cappello F., Faccenna F., Irace L.


Popliteal artery injuries have an incidence ranging between 5% and 19% of all traumatic arteria lesions. A high index of amputation, when associated with lesions of the infrapopliteal branches, and a 4-5% overall mortality are recorded in these conditions. Three patients with popliteal artery injury due to posterior knee dislocation were operated upon in our department during the last 12 months. In one case, the physical examination revealed a warm limb, with peripheral pulse; angiography showed a pseudoaneurysm of the popliteal artery with intimal dissection and partial trombosis. In the last two cases an acute ischemia of the limb was present; in one case the angiographic study showed a complete transection of the artery, while in the second case an obstruction of popliteal artery. In all cases the dislocation was corrected and a the reconstruction carried out by inverted autologus saphenous vein with termino-terminal anastomosis. In all cases a good patency of the popliteal reconstruction was achieved with limb salvage. Prognosis of popliteal injuries is related to an early diagnosis and they should be suspected even in absence of overt signs of acute ischemia. Surgical timing cannot be the same in all cases. The need for a preliminary ortopedic phase with its modality must be established case by case, relating to the severity of ischemia, to the time elapsed between trauma and surgery, to the peculiarities of skeleton and joints lesions.

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