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Author Topic: How to regain full flexion after arthroscopy  (Read 5398 times)

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Offline austin

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How to regain full flexion after arthroscopy
« on: October 04, 2010, 10:02:23 AM »
Hi,  I'm new to the board, finding it very helpful  :)  My husband had an artroscopy and lavage to treat septic arthritis on his knee in August,  he has managed to regain full extension but the flexion has not fully returned to normal.  On the morning before the operation his leg went into a muscular spasm (part of the effect of the  staph inection) and it seems to be this causing restricted movement,  any exercises or therapy suggestions would be greatly appreciated
Thanks

Offline Dad3

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Re: How to regain full flexion after arthroscopy
« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2010, 02:34:02 PM »
Can't comment on the procedure I'm afraid, but some general advice:-

Stretching and constant movement is always good.
Going to the pool is good exercise, try walking on the spot in the water and you find that it's easier as the water takes your weight and it enables you to go a bit further all the time. You may be sore afterwards, but its a good pain - if such a thing exists.
also try "cycling" across the pool with the aid of a "foam worm" - lay on your back with the foam worm under your neck and armpits and "cycle" - stretch your legs out as far as they go across the top of the water and then pull them back - literally like your riding a bicycle. If your doing it right  then you'll go across the pool, if your going round in circles then one leg is trying harder/moving further than the other.

Walking is always a good gentle exercise and a good way of keeping weight off.
I used one of the TEDS stockings as a friction band, looped it around my ankle and pulled my leg up as far as i could get it, just went a bit further every week/or as pain allows. Conversely, pull against the TEDS stockings when the leg is at maximum flexion for working your muscles/hamstrings a little more.
You could also try leg weights. Lie on a flat surface, face down, legs flat against the floor with the weights on the ankles. Lift a leg up from the knee, as far as it goes and then gravity will take it a little further - start low weight and then move up.
However - check all of these are OK with your consultant/physio first.

hope it goes well
Craig
RT Knee collapsed 08/2009
MRI 10/2009 - torn ACL
Arthroscopy and MFX - 10/2009
ACL and OATS 11/2009
RT knee lateral release, mosaicplasty and medial reefing - 22nd September 2010.
Still not 100% OK :(

Offline dm

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Re: How to regain full flexion after arthroscopy
« Reply #2 on: October 05, 2010, 05:19:03 AM »
Don't know the procedure myself either, but to gain rom back to my normal range post scope, I used passive flexion exercises like wall slides. lay on the floor or bed with butt nearly against the wall and legs/feet vertical along wall. Flex knee letting sock covered foot slide down wall, as far as knee will bend. Let gravity work at pulling heel toward butt, collapsing knee. Push foot up wall to straighten leg, and let gravity bend knee again. Use muscles, and even the other foot behind the bad leg's foot, to control the flex, so the knee just doesn't collapse abruptly, but is controlled. don't apply pressure to the bending, just let gravity work it, letting gravity pull the leg flexed. Holding it flexed for 30 sec count, rest for 30 sec, can help stretch things and improve flexibility in the joint. I got my rom back in a month that way.
multiple arthroscopies 2/00,3/01,6/01,1/03, 12/07,10/10. chondromalacia, severe medial joint space narrowing following 3 partial menisectomies, chronic pain problems, kneecap problems, OCD lesion, failed mfx.

Offline Kimberly 77

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Re: How to regain full flexion after arthroscopy
« Reply #3 on: October 06, 2010, 03:44:13 PM »
Hi! I had the same surgery as your husband on Aug. 2nd. I can also now almost fully staighten my knee but can't bend it very well at all. I did physical theraphy for 4 weeks 2 days a week and am now continuing it at home. They have me doing 40 leg raises with a 4 lb. weight and 40 side leg raises with the weight and then I lay on my stomach and do 30 back leg raises. I also do heel slides while lying down and up against the wall, 40 of each. And then to help keep my leg straight I also stretch by siting on a chair and using a foot stool and lean foward and stretch. I started off with no weight and gradually worked up to the 4 lbs. All of these have made me much stronger and when I began theraphy my flexion was only 70 and now I am about 108, some improvement. I'm not sure if I will ever be able to bend my knee fully it feels so tight and stiff and sore. I am not sure my surgery was much of a sucess yet because I still kind of feel like I did beofre surgery, I am going to be consulting with a new Dr. to find out what might be going on. Good Luck to your husband!
Right leg amputee.
Osteoarthritis in left knee.
Medial femoral condyle defect, arthoscopy 8-2-10
Grade 3 defects, patella, medial femoral condyle, tibia scoped1-12-2011
Physical theraphy and awaiting microfrature 2-1-12

Offline austin

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Re: How to regain full flexion after arthroscopy
« Reply #4 on: October 10, 2010, 08:39:38 AM »
Thank you all for the advice :)
We finally managed to get his medical file (his surgeon was one of those that doesn't talk to the patient),  he also had a partial synovectomy which could be causing the problems.  And it even looks like it wasn't septic/infectious arthritis, no infection in blood, synovial tissue or fluid and normal WBC  so all those anti-biotics for nothing!

Offline dm

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Re: How to regain full flexion after arthroscopy
« Reply #5 on: October 11, 2010, 01:32:18 PM »
If the antibiotics were all pre-arthroscopy, and they did pathology after for infection, and didn't find any, then that just means that the antibiotics got the staph, which can be a hard bug to kill.
multiple arthroscopies 2/00,3/01,6/01,1/03, 12/07,10/10. chondromalacia, severe medial joint space narrowing following 3 partial menisectomies, chronic pain problems, kneecap problems, OCD lesion, failed mfx.

Offline austin

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Re: How to regain full flexion after arthroscopy
« Reply #6 on: October 13, 2010, 10:06:58 AM »
Thats the problem,  the synovial samples were all tested before the anti-biotics were administrered,  it looks like a case of act first think later (we live in france and the hospitals aren't that great!)

Offline dm

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Re: How to regain full flexion after arthroscopy
« Reply #7 on: October 13, 2010, 10:14:34 AM »
well, in cases like suspected staph, you'd almost rather they treat for it if they're not sure than wait, because if staph gets in the bloodstream and infects a heart valve, it gets real wicked to deal with then, so that's why they get aggressive if they suspect it.

Now that you know it's not staph, you just have to focus on getting the knee back into working shape.

Look at the rehab sections, and take advantage of the exercise routines that emphasize range of motion, quad strength, etc.
quad sets, heel slides, straight leg raise, stationary bike, wall slides, hip abduction exercises, heel/toe raises, all will help the knee/leg strength.
multiple arthroscopies 2/00,3/01,6/01,1/03, 12/07,10/10. chondromalacia, severe medial joint space narrowing following 3 partial menisectomies, chronic pain problems, kneecap problems, OCD lesion, failed mfx.

Offline azramoss

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Re: How to regain full flexion after arthroscopy
« Reply #8 on: October 13, 2010, 01:45:17 PM »
Hi.

I had this procedure last July. It's quite sometime before your husband will be able to fully flex his knee.
Do VMO strengthening exercises. It will help. :)