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Arthrofibrosis Treatment

Arthrofibrosis Treatment Overview

Knee arthrofibrosis is a condition that causes pain, stiffness and limited range of motion in the joint. This condition is generally caused by scar tissue and/or contractures after a knee injury or most commonly prior knee surgery, or by the prolonged effects of osteoarthritis. Ranging from tiny amounts of scar tissue to a significant amount of scarring, knee arthrofibrosis is quite common and can be treated by Dr. Brian Waterman.

Arthrofibrosis treatment is extremely important and must be performed by a specialized surgeon trained in diagnosing and treating the exact cause of knee arthrofibrosis. When a patient first visits Dr. Waterman., he will perform a detailed examination of the affected knee and ask questions about previous injuries and/or surgeries. During the physical examination, Dr. Waterman. will inspect the knee on its ability to straighten and flex (bend), both critical movements to proper knee function. X-rays and an MRI will also be performed to determine the exact cause of the condition and to look for osteoarthritis evidence.

Dr.Waterman. may initially begin arthrofibrosis treatment with a non-operative approach, including rest, ice, injections and an aggressive physical therapy program. If stretching and physical therapy exercises do not help the knee or if the condition is too severe, an arthroscopic knee surgery may be needed. A surgical approach depends on the specific cause of scarring and the extent of scarring, and can be very complex in certain patients. During the arthroscopic procedure, Dr. Waterman. will use a small camera to inspect the inside of the knee joint for scar tissue, including its location and severity. Certain procedures will only require removal of a small amount of scar tissue, while other procedures will require removal of bone spurs or a poorly placed graft. If a graft is removed, a second surgery will be required at a later time to replace the graft and return full function to the knee. The chance of recurrent scarring after the arthrofibrosis treatment is less than 10 percent if releasing scar tissue, regaining range of motion and working through a rehabilitation program after surgery is properly followed. Post-operative care includes the use of medications, braces, continuous motion machines and aggressive physical therapy to regain and maintain as much motion as possible after surgery.

Recovery and Rehabilitation after Arthrofibrosis Treatment

Following the rehabilitation guidelines prescribed by Dr.Waterman. is crucial to a successful and full recovery. In many cases, Dr.Waterman. may instruct a patient to begin physical therapy immediately following arthrofibrosis treatment, typically the first day after surgery. The physical therapy program focuses on regaining range of motion in the knee joint. Each patient’s recovery time will be unique based on the severity of knee arthrofibrosis and the surgical procedure performed.

At a Glance

Dr. Brian Waterman, MD

  • Chief & Fellowship Director, Sports Medicine, Wake Forest
  • Team Physician, Wake Forest University, Chicago White Sox
  • Military affiliation/Decorated military officer and surgeon
  • Learn more

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