This is the editor's interpretation of a paper published in the orthopaedic literature in 2011 - our attempt to make relevant medical articles accessible to lay readers. If you want to read the original it is easy to ask your librarian to obtain a reprint for you from any medical library.

Reference:

Said S, Christainsen SE, Faunoe P, Lund B and Lind M. Outcome of surgical treatment of arthrofibrosis following ligament reconstruction. Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc. 2011;20:19:1704–1708.

[Ed: the medical journal seems to have made a mistake in their publication as it should read Christiansen SE]


These authors report retrospectively on 27 of the 31 patients who developed arthrofibrosis in their unit from 2003 to 2007 after knee ligament reconstruction. The patients had been managed with forced manipulation or arthroscopic lysis followed by intense physiotherapy. Of the 27 patients followed in the study, 14 had manipulation alone, and the other 13 had manipulation and arthroscopic lysis. They were followed up for a median of 51 months (range 19 to 73 months), and the lysis surgery was perfomed on average 4 months after the initial ligament procedure (range 1-32 months).

The 'intense physiotherapy' included -

  • hospitalisation for rehab for two weeks with two daily sessions
  • CPM for 6-8 hours a day
  • extension bracing for those with extension deficits
  • postop pain alleviation allowing postop ROM exercises
  • anti-inflammatory medication (

 

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