Adhesions are frond-like filaments which form in the knee in response to inflammation and/or prolonged immobilisation of the knee.

sites of arthrofibrosis in the knee
Adhesions tend to form in the suprapatellar pouch above the kneecap, in the envelope-like bursae below the kneecap and in the soft-tissue gutters around the sides and back of the joint.

Adhesions limit range of motion

The sticky strands pull adjacent soft tissues together, binding the surfaces and limiting movement.

Initially they are easily broken with therapeutic knee movement - such as patellar mobilisations and manipulation under anaesthesia - but later the adhesion tissue matures into scar-bands and these thicken and make the knee stiff. When the knee is stiffened by adhesions the condition is called arthrofibrosis.

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Dr Sheila Strover (Editor)
BSc (Hons), MB BCh, MBA

See biography...

Relevant material -

Dr Sheila Strover2017 - Course - The Anatomy of Knee Flexibility - by Dr Sheila Strover (Clinical Editor)



eBook on patellar mobilisations

eBook - How to perform Patellar Mobilisations by Mr Sebastiano Nutarelli (Physiotherapist)

Practical illustrated guide to preventing and breaking down knee adhesions around the patella.