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Revista Médica del Uruguay

Print version ISSN 0303-3295On-line version ISSN 1688-0390


PAMPARATO, Mateo; DEL CASTILLO, Juan M  and  FRANCESCOLI, Luis. Acute knee dislocation. Indications for the use of the external fixator at the emergency room. Rev. Méd. Urug. [online]. 2021, vol.37, n.3, e401.  Epub Sep 01, 2021. ISSN 0303-3295.


traumatic dislocation of the knee constitutes an unusual lesion in orthopedic pathology, the diagnosis of which is often missed. This is because it occurs in the context of multiple trauma patients, and failure to diagnose it may result in a potentially fatal outcome for the life-threatening compromise of the injured limb.


to perform a literature review of literature on indications for the use of the external fixator in the acute knee dislocation at the emergency room that has been available in the last twenty years.


we conducted a systematized search by means of electronic search engines Cochrane, Lilacs, Scielo, Pubmed, Science direct and the Timbó portal. The search included 6495 articles and according to the criteria of inclusion and exclusion 14 studies were selected.


the review highlights that most articles found are level of evidence IV. The use of the external fixator in the emergency room as part of the temporary stabilization and initial handling of the condition would be indicated in the following clinical scenarios: multiple trauma patients, vascular lesion, exposed dislocation, joint instability, recurrent dislocation, fracture dislocation, lesions of the extensor apparatus, morbid obesity, splint or orthosis intolerance.


systematization and the observation of protocols when it comes to the making of decisions enables the decrease of most complications associated to trauma pathologies. Actions must be geared to stabilizing patients first and to stabilize the knee joint. The external fixator is indicated for specific clinical scenarios. However, some of these indications are still a matter of debate.

Keywords : Acute knee dislocation; External fixators; Ligaments, articular.

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