Plica surgery in the knee is performed to remove a plical fold of joint lining that is being troublesome, perhaps because it is catching in the joint.
The medial plica can become nipped between femur and patella, with resultant pain.
Surgery for plica syndrome
Surgery may be indicated when the patient repetitively experiences symptoms, which may include:
- inflammation of a plica, due to an impact injury
- nipping of a mediopatellar plica between femur and patella
- nipping of a suprapatellar plica between femur and the quads tendon
- inflammation of the Hoffa fat pad, when a tethered infrapatellar plica is subjected to increased stresses, such as with an adolescent growth spurt
The procedure is usually arthroscopic (keyhole).
Rehabilitation after plica surgery
If the plica is fully removed, rather than just snipped, recovery can be rather painful. Crutches may be needed for a couple of days and then a stick. Rehabilitation should focus on preventing any adhesions around the patella (by patellar mobilisations) and regaining full range of motion.
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