What is Knee Arthrofibrosis?
Knee arthrofibrosis is a condition that causes limited joint range of motion due to scar tissue formation following a knee injury, a previous surgery or prolonged symptoms of osteoarthritis. The knee condition can range from tiny amounts of scar tissue to a significant amount of scarring, all limiting the joint’s range of motion and function. Vail, Aspen and Denver, Colorado area orthopedic knee surgeon, Dr. Matthew Provencher is highly trained and experienced in knee arthrofibrosis treatment.
What is Arthrofibrosis Treatment?
Treatment of knee arthrofibrosis is critical and must be performed by an orthopedic surgeon trained in diagnosing and treating the exact cause of the condition. A physical examination, medical review and diagnostic tests will be performed on the affected knee so Dr. Provencher can determine the cause of the condition and examine for evidence of osteoarthritis. During the physical examination, the patient’s knee will be tested on its ability to both bend and straighten, both important movements for proper joint function.
Arthrofibrosis treatment usually begins with conservative measures, including ice, rest, medications and a detailed physical therapy program. The overall goal of non-surgical measures is to increase range of motion so a patient does not have to undergo surgical treatment.
When to Have Arthrofibrosis Treatment
Dr. Provencher may recommend a surgical knee arthrofibrosis procedure if non-surgical measures fail to improve the knee’s range of motion. Surgical arthrofibrosis treatment varies for each patient, depending on extent and cause of scar tissue formation. An arthroscopic, minimally invasive approach is commonly performed to remove scar tissue, bone spurs, and/or a poorly placed surgical graft. A posterior capsular release may also be possibly indicated. If a graft is removed, Dr. Provencher will perform a second knee surgery at a later time to replace the graft and return full function to the joint.
Following arthrofibrosis treatment, patients have less than a 10% chance of recurrent scar tissue if the procedure is performed correctly and the prescribed rehabilitation program is followed. Because of this, it is critical patients undergo the procedure with a highly trained orthopedic surgeon experienced in this condition.
What is the Recovery Following Surgical Arthrofibrosis Treatment?
Post-operative care typically includes medications, the use of a brace, continuous motion machines and a detailed physical therapy rehabilitation program. It is strongly suggested that patients work with the in-house physical therapists at Howard Head Sports Medicine to optimize their rehabilitation. The rehabilitation guidelines prescribed by Dr. Provencher are extremely important so patients can achieve a full recovery and reduce the risk of recurrent knee arthrofibrosis. A physical therapy program will begin immediately after the procedure and is aimed at restoring normal range of motion. Recovery time following surgical arthrofibrosis treatment varies for each patient, depending on severity of scar tissue and procedure performed by Dr. Provencher.
If you suffer from knee arthrofibrosis and would like more resources on arthrofibrosis treatment options, please contact Dr. Matthew Provencher, orthopedic knee surgeon in the Vail, Aspen and Denver, Colorado area.