The REHAB DEPARTMENT => Soft Tissue Healing Problems - Arthrofibrosis => Topic started by: VasSvet on April 28, 2018, 05:00:38 AM

Title: Scared that I may be developing arthrofibrosis
Post by: VasSvet on April 28, 2018, 05:00:38 AM
Hello everyone. I wold greatly appreciate the input of people who  have experience with these issues.
I injured my right knee while skiing on February 25, so it is almost 9 weeks. First, surgeon said he thinks it is a medial collateral ligament tear and may be meniscus tear. Later, MRI showed medial collateral ligament tear 2nd degree, Lateral collateral ligament tear 2nd degree, full tear of ACL and complex bucket handle tear of lateral meniscus with displacement of central fragment. Initially, right after injury the knee was immobilized (no movement) for 8 days till I saw a surgeon (it's Canada). Got a knee immobilizer in the emergency room. Started ROM  and quad exercises on day 11 with physiotherapist.  Got my quad and other muscle strength back. Knee was painful, very swollen, flexion initially was may be 60, extension (don't remember, well it was fully extended first week for sure). It is 9 weeks since the injury and flexion is 112 and I have a sense there is a room for improvement - can't flex more still because of pain, but the knee is (i would say mildly) stiff in the morning, and what's scary - extension is not full - I can put my fingers under the knee when lying on back with leg straightened and physiotherapist says it is +3-5 degrees. But my healthy knee hyperextends quite. Saw a surgeon on 25th and he said the knee may be locked by the lateral meniscus tear and that I have a lot of stiffness. My sense is that at this point he doesn't know if the knee is locked or it is stiffness. When I try to extend the knee more I feel pain in the front, where the lateral meniscus is. The sense is also that it will not extend more. And there is a buldge of contracted quad muscle above the patella ( as if the muscle is trying to do it's work, but can't because the knee can't extend more or may be patella does not move up enough? My patella is moving up and down, but slightly less than in the healthy knee and there is still some swelling in the joint.  Arthroscopy is scheduled on May 15. My questions: does this sound like arthrofibrosis or locked knee? or both? Is it detrimental to wait 2 more weeks? Should I go somewhere where they will look at the issue and I get help faster? Thank you very much for your help! 
Title: Re: Scared that I may be developing arthrofibrosis
Post by: Vickster on April 28, 2018, 09:03:55 AM
I can only speak from my own experience of a lateral meniscus tear back in 2009. My knee was locked exactly as described (no ACL but a cartilage defect), I tried physio for 5 months, swelling and unable to straighten. I had arthroscopy 5 months on (knee started to buckle) and full ROM almost immediately (and despite quite extensive arthritis now). I still have full ROM albeit with some pain (I do a lot of cycling which helps)

I'd carry on doing the exercises, icing etc until the surgery and not overthink it all :).

 Bear in mind that you're in for a long recovery after an ACL recon, a year at least, you'll need to follow surgeon and physio instructions and work hard with the physio

Good luck :)
Title: Re: Scared that I may be developing arthrofibrosis
Post by: VasSvet on April 28, 2018, 04:18:28 PM
Thank you, Vickster. Thank you for sharing your experience, it is reassuring. Doing physio and hoping the surgery will help. Sounds like waiting for two more weeks should not make the situation worse.