Vascular Injury

Peripheral vessels that run close to a joint may sometimes be compressed or disrupted when that joint becomes dislocated, as, for example, with dislocation of the ankle or knee (tibiofemoral joint). Loss of peripheral pulse, or poor-to-absent capillary refill, calls for expeditious reduction of deformity. Even after reduction, evidence of significant vascular injury may be delayed. Patients who experience tibiofemoral dislocation, for example, may undergo routine post-reduction angiography to verify the integrity and patency of the popliteal vessels, regardless of whether a circulatory deficit was noted on initial examination.

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