Arthrofibrosis

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Hi, I'm almost a year out from a TKR on my right knee. My surgeon has told me I have developed arthrofibrosis in it. While I know what it is, I'm wondering if anyone here has had any experience with it? My surgeon has advised me that it will probably end up resolving itself, but that the process would be slow, possibly 1-2 years. Has anyone else experienced this? Thanks, Michelle

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  • Posted

    Hi Michelle. Can u tell me what your symptoms are? I googled it and I have been having some of them. I'm 8 mos out from my right Tkr. I have a lot of episodes of swelling. I've had my knee drained twice and it was blood. He had me go to a blood dr to rule out any blood disorders. Please let me know what ur experiencing. Look up my name and you will see my past posts. Thank you.

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    • Posted

      Hi Jeanie, I have what seems to be swelling but I believe that it is scar tissue that is not acting the way it should. I had a manipulation at 3 months post-op, and that increased my bend to 125, I am currently getting around a 122. It is still very awkward to go downstairs, and the whole knee area just feels stiff. But I have continuously made small improvements, but slowly, like my surgeon explained. Ask your surgeon about arthrofibrosis and see what he says. Hope this helps some. Also, my knee bends way easier in a hot bath or hot tub, so I do a lot of stretching in those situations.

      Michelle

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  • Posted

    Hi Michele- I am sorry to hear that you have arthrofibrosis. I am also 8 months post TKR and even though my surgeon has not yet given me a name or reason why I can't bend my knee more than bet 100 to 110. I feel there is something wrong. I need to go see him next month and perhaps he will give me more answers. However, at present I am wearing a DynaSplint Brace prescribed by another surgeon in NY. At one time my bend was 120 then it just went back. I had 50 sessions of PT plus I do my exercises and I go to the gym. Can you bend your knee? Can you straighten your leg? Please let me know. Thanks, J-21370

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    • Posted

      Hi j21370,

      My bend is around 122 and my straight is 0. My bend improved greatly after a manipulation at 3 months post-op. I can still bend and straighten although it is pretty stiff. Even on the days I overdo though, I am bouncing back quicker and seeing other small improvents, just slow progress, like my surgeon mentioned. Stretching and bending my knee in hot tub or hot bath really helps. Maybe ask your surgeon about it next time you see them.

      Michelle

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  • Posted

    I'm pretty sure arthrofibrosis symptoms affect me since RTKR 2 months ago.

    ?Have excess swelling that won't go down, very stiff and painful knee, feels like it is a "dry" joint if you get what I mean, feels crunchy rather than smooth movement. I had manipulation at 10 weeks which increased bend from 60 to 95 and intense physio to retain and hopefully extend it. My knee replacement seems to be a much more painful and slower in recoveriing than the majority of people.

    ?My consultant did not mention anything except that some people make excess scar tissue fast and the physio exercise may not keep up with it to beak it down. But I did feel the inference was that I should have done more exercise, though I did what they recommended despite poorly controlled pain.

    ?You seem to have enough bend to function and have been told it may get better, but have symptoms in the meantime? Are you receiving any extra PT?

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    • Posted

      Cyntia,

      I have decided to forgo more PT at this time. My surgeon did mention with the arthrofibrosis that there is a pretty fine line between letting the scar tissue settle down and resolve itself, and enflaming it with intensive exercise or physical therapy. I do exercises for strengthening still, and exercises to maintain the bend. I try to do as much walking as possible without overdoing it. Although even when I overdo, I bounce back pretty quickly. My surgeon said that at 125, you can do anything. Well, going downstairs is VERY awkward for me right now, not exactly painful, but very stiff. I looked it up, normal range of motion is 135. I believe that at 135, you CAN do anything. smile I don't know if I will ever get there. What I can say is that I'm glad I had the surgery, dealing with this stiffness and trying to gradually work it out, is much better than the painful limp I dealt with before. I believe the statement about people who make excess scar tissue faster. I am probably one of those people. I wish that I had pushed harder at PT, but don't really know for sure if it would have made a difference. Good luck, I really hope your bend gets better, I can't imagine being at 95. Perhaps it will just take time. Make note of any improvements big or small, and remember it may just happen very slowly.

      Michelle

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    • Posted

      Thanks, 95 degrees is not great, but it is much better than the 60 I had before! You are right though, we cannot know if anything we did would have made a difference or not.

      ​I have known people do very little PT and get a full bend, while I felt I did my best but well, there it is. Good luck and I hope you get to where you wish to be.

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  • Posted

    do you have pain when you have swelling?  Does it swell, then it's ok.  I can have 5 days where it doesnt then it does.  It happened this morning and it is bad.  I had to dip into my paid meds from last October.  Mine swells and i can't straighten or bend it for the day at least.  It was bad last Weds, then i was ok then it blew up again on Saturday then yesterday was ok, and then it blew up this morning and it's bad. I have a lot of pain and swelling in and around the knee and my quad is just worthless at this point.

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  • Posted

    I have this problem and have trouble walking up and down strairs.My Dr. is going to do surgery. He said it should also help with my bend. I am 7 months out and only have 110. I'm a little nervous about it but as long as it helps and I feel better in the long run I will be happy.

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