Complex Knee Surgeon

Are you an athlete who participates in contact sports? If so, you may be at risk of sustaining a complex knee injury. When multiple ligaments are injured or torn during a traumatic event, there are certain cases when one ligament can heal without the need of knee surgery while another ligament requires reconstruction. Complex knee surgeon, Doctor Riley J. Williams provides diagnosis as well as surgical and nonsurgical treatment options for patients in Manhattan, Brooklyn, New York City and surrounding areas who have a complex, multi-ligament knee injury. Contact Dr. Williams’ team today!

What is a multi-ligament injury of the knee?

There are four elastic tissue bands (ligaments) located within the knee. The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and the posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) limit forward and backward movement of the tibia (shin bone).The medial collateral ligament (MCL) and the lateral collateral ligament (LCL) provide stability in side to side movement of the knee joint. A multi-ligament injury occurs when two or more of these ligaments are damaged. These types of complex knee injuries are uncommon and generally occur from high-impact traumatic events such as a rough tackle in football, a motor vehicle collision, or a fall from a significant height. Due to the intricacies of multi-ligament reconstruction and complex knee surgery, a highly trained orthopedic surgeon that has extensive training in multi-ligament injuries offers the best outcome of a full recovery. Dr. Riley J. Williams, orthopedic knee surgeon, treats patients in Manhattan, Brooklyn, New York City, NY and surrounding areas who have suffered a multi-ligament knee injury.


Multi-Ligament Injury

What is done to repair a complex knee injury?

The multi-ligament reconstruction surgical procedure for patients in New York and the surrounding boroughs are tailored to the type of complex knee injury that was sustained. Dr. Williams will meet with you to evaluate the severity of your injury and determine the appropriate reconstructive techniques needed to repair your complex knee injury. These severe injuries typically require imaging such as an MRI, CT scan and radiographs to fully diagnose the extent of the damage. Severe injuries may necessitate the use of a MR arthrogram to rule out blood vessel or nerve damage as well.

How is multi-ligament knee reconstruction performed?

Multi-ligament reconstruction involves replacing the injured ligaments with new ligaments constructed from either the patient’s tissue (autograft) or donor tissue (allograft). In acute cases, the ligaments can sometimes be repaired primarily. In the instances of severe tears to multiple ligaments, several tissue grafts may be needed for reconstruction. For this complex knee surgery, Dr. Williams may incorporate various open and arthroscopic surgical techniques involving several incisions to fully repair the damage. .

During multi-ligament knee reconstruction, Dr. Williams will locate and assess the damaged tissue and ligaments. He will then use ligament grafts to carefully replace each of the torn ligaments. It is vital that the new ligament grafts are placed back in the original anatomical position of the native tissue. Dr. Williams has the highly technical expertise for this type of multi-ligament knee reconstruction and prefers to perform this surgery in one surgical setting, in order to give the patient the best possible chance at a full recovery.

What happens after complex knee surgery?

A thorough physical rehabilitation program immediately following a multi-ligament reconstruction surgery is imperative in providing a full recovery. An emphasis on knee range of motion, patellar mobilization, and decreasing swelling is applied during the early rehabilitation phases. With continuing recovery, there is transition to an emphasis on progressive weight bearing and lower extremity strengthening. A patient can expect to be fully recovered in approximately 6-12 months after reconstruction surgery with consistent physical rehabilitation.

For more information about multi-ligament knee reconstruction, or complex knee surgery, please contact the office of Riley J. Williams, MD, an orthopedic knee surgeon serving Manhattan, Brooklyn, New York City, NY and surrounding areas.


HSS Sports Medicine Institute West Side
610 W 58th Street
New York, NY 10019

HSS Brooklyn
148 39th Street, 7th Floor
Brooklyn, NY 11232

Office Hours

Monday-Friday: 9:00 am – 4:30 pm
Fax: 212-774-2895