Tampere University of Technology

TUTCRIS Research Portal

Incidence of knee dislocation and concomitant vascular injury requiring surgery: A nationwide study

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)715-719
Number of pages5
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2014
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


BACKGROUND: Acute knee (tibiofemoral joint) dislocation is a serious knee injury, although population-based numbers and incidence rates of knee dislocation with or without concomitant vascular injury are unknown. METHODS: The study covered the whole adult population of 4 million persons (aged ≥ 18 years) in Finland during the 11-year period from January 1, 1998, to December 31, 2011. Data on hospitalization caused by acute knee dislocations and concomitant vascular injuries requiring operative treatment were obtained from the nationwide National Hospital Discharge Registry. RESULTS: During the 14-year study period, a total of 837 patients with knee dislocation diagnosis were hospitalized in Finland. The highest incidence rates in men were in persons aged 18 years to 29 years (incidence, 29 per 1 million person-years in 2011), and the incidence decreased by age, while in women, this incidence was rather similar in all age groups. The most common injury mechanism of knee dislocation was low-energy fall at the same level (46%). The median length of hospital stay was 2 days (range, 1-109 days). In 107 cases (13%), knee dislocation required immediate open (69 cases) or closed (38 cases) reduction in the operating room. Popliteal artery injury requiring acute surgical intervention was found in 13 patients (1.6%), and amputation at the level above the tibiofemoral joint was performed for one patient (0.1%). CONCLUSION: This is the first study describing the population-based incidence of acute knee dislocation. Men aged 18 years to 29 years had the highest incidence rates. Half of the injuries were low-energy trauma. Popliteal artery injury requiring surgical intervention was a rare concomitant injury, but when present, the injury required immediate surgical repair to avoid dramatic consequences.


  • Epidemiology, Incidence, Knee dislocation, Operative treatment, Popliteal artery