Knee stuck in flexion- what to do?

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I am thinking one of my main problems is my knee is stuck in "flexion contracture." It is a little worse with weight bearing- or certainly feels that way. I think all my 7 "professionals" I saw missed this. I kept looking at weaknesses and flexibilities myself but I think if I can get the knee to straighten out I can make things better a lot quicker.

I do not know the exact angle I am at (doctor appt. next week will hopefully help with this), but I can only get the back of the knee to about 1.5 inches from the wall at best (heel and glutes against wall, then try to entend back). I am a little better after stretching, but it is mostly temporary.

I do feel better at times when I get a little more stretch out of the joint. 

Sometimes it feels tight in the back of the knee/hamstrings, and sometimes after I get some stretch it then feels tight around the front of the knee/patella area. My other leg can snap back with ease, and that supposedly is the worse knee (MRI is clear on the problem bent knee right now).

Any advice how to beat this? Knee issue has gone on for 13 months and the contracture I suspect for quite a while too now, which is concerning. I feel it is mostly muscular but what should I do? Are there any tests to see if it is also joint related? Any modalities I can try. Right now I am stretching, and heating while elevating my heel. I understand now that working out will not help much, only with symptoms, which is what I am experiencing. Muscles are not activating properly when I walk.

Thank you! (I just want to walk normal without pain again...)

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  • Posted

    Steve ...I can repeat a couple of thongs that helped me most.

    1st: lying on your back with a couple of pillows behind my back, roll up a towel so that it 3-4 inches in dia. Put it under the ankle, then slowly tighten all the muscles in the leg while pushing the back of the knee toward the bed. Hold for count of 10. Repeat 10 times and do 2 sets

    2nd: lay on your stomach with the lower part of the leg hanging off the bed. Relax and Let gravity just pull down on the leg down. Hold for count of 5 gradually increasing to count of 10. Repeat 10 times and do 2 sets. You will feel the back of the leg stretch and gradually it will straighten. Its a little hard to maneuver early on with the second excercise but be sure to take time to rest between sets. Doesn't sound like youre doinguch but you will be ready for ice and a cold beer when you are done. Doing these slowly and correctly will tire you out.

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    • Posted

      Thanks for the tips- I do something similar with heat to your first suggestion. The second is a little tougher but I try once in awhile with that. That one hurts the knee the little. I'll follow what you said and I know it takes time. I hope to make progress, as in seeing pre-stretching extension increase. I think this is what started it all- getting up and down from a kneeling position while working all day. My knee cracked while standing up a couple times from the tightness that developed. I know getting my quads to develop more will help with this, but at the same time getting extension back with help develop the quads, esp. since I am hitting a bit of a wall with strengthening- now I know why. Thanks
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    • Posted

      My therapist and surgeon both told me straight was more important than bend. I'm @ a one again but still feel tight. Tomorrow I have to go in and have fluid sucked from the the joint. Not the way I want to start my week but the inflammation markers are so high the surgeon feels like therapy is a waste of time if I can't get the source of the problem removed. I had to have it done so many times several years ago when the tumor 1st erupted that its so fresh in my mind I can still feel the turkey baster sized needle being rmed to the bone......... But if it helps it will be worth it.
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    • Posted

      Good luck and yes they are correct. I lack some flexion but that is not as bad. I laid out here stretched for awhile now and my lateral quads are really feeling it. I suspect they are tight from taking on the load from the medial quads.
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