Arthrofibrosis w/decr.flexion after knee surgery-treatment options? : LUSENET : About Joints : One Thread

I tore the lateral meniscus in a squat-and-twist mishap in 4/98. Arthroscopic surg done 5/98 with meniscal repair, not removal, but arthrofibrosis developed w/ limited extension and flexion. Two manipulations and 2 surgeries later I can extend well but have very limited flexion (limping gait, unable to go up/down stairs properly). Have done and continue to do extensive physical therapy; flexion improves to about 105 after 40 min PT but not sustainable. I'm 50 and active, not 80, and not willing to give up on this. Any experience (patients or doctors) with similar stiff knees? What are my options, surgical or otherwise? Thanks to all from the Lady Veterinarian.

-- Meryl D. Meloy (, July 16, 1999


Dear Dr. Meloy, I'm sure that you realize that it is not responsible or ethical to recommend specific treatment for patients without a comprehensive 'hands on' evaluation. I do mostly total joint replacement, but our practice does see patients like yourself who have this kind of problem post-operatively from other knee surgeries. It is also something that occasionally occurs after total knee replacement. i have not seen that further surgery often helps, but to be able to say that in your case would require an examination and in depth evaluation. If you last surgery has ben less that 1 year ago, there is some possibility that persistence with your PT program will eventually yield results. It takes one year for scar tissue to fully mature, after which no improvement can be expected. also if your PT program is too vigorous and the exercises are actually tearing the scar tissue, rather than stretching it, this could be keeping the scar forming process alive. A patient is better off doing several short therapy sessions a day rather than one long painful one that leaves the knee sore and the patient exhausted. If you would like to schedule an appt. for evaluation you can do so with one of the physicians in our office through the addresses given on the web site. Sincerely, David S. Hungerford, MD

-- David S. Hungerford, M.D. (, July 31, 1999.

i had knee replacement done in sept.2002. then in march 2003 ihad scar tissues removed . now my leg hurst and swells and does not want to bend .i think i have scar tissue again. what must i do

-- brenda j. witty (, May 17, 2003.

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