A total knee replacement, also called knee arthroplasty, is one of the most common types of joint replacement surgeries. It involves removing the damaged portion of the knee joint and replacing it with prosthetic materials.
Knee replacement is highly successful for relieving knee pain and restoring joint function, but some patients experience knee stiffness following the procedure. This stiffness causes a limited range of motion in the knee, and it can be accompanied by pain.
Let’s talk about some of the main factors that can cause stiffness after knee replacement surgery, and where you can go in North Dakota for expert orthopedic care of your knee and other joints.
Intraoperative Factors Causing Stiffness After Knee Replacement Surgery
A knee replacement, as with all types of surgeries, involves risks that can include surgical errors or complications. This may include damage to soft tissue, a problem with the prosthesis itself, or anatomical problems or changes.
There is also a risk of infection following knee surgery, which can cause the joint to gradually lose flexibility. In severe cases, knee revision surgery may be necessary to treat the infection effectively.
Postoperative Factors that Can Cause a Stiff Knee
Successful recovery after knee replacement surgery largely depends on how well you care for your knee postoperatively, which means following your doctor’s and physical therapist’s recommendations. Returning to certain activities too soon, not following your rehabilitation program, or failing to care for your new joint properly could cause damage to the new prosthesis – potentially leading to pain, stiffness, and reduced function.
Arthrofibrosis is a condition that can lead to abnormal scar formation after surgery, causing excessive scar tissue in or around the new prosthetic joint. It can be due to a number of reasons, such as bleeding, infection, injury to the joint, or genetic factors. Arthrofibrosis can limit knee function and range of motion and can cause significant pain, and it may warrant knee revision surgery.
Treating Knee Stiffness
Depending on the cause of knee stiffness, there are a variety of treatments that can work very well to make the knee flexible again. Early treatment may include special physical therapy and manipulation under anesthesia (MUA) of the knee joint. Minimally invasive knee arthroscopy may be recommended to diagnose and treat persistent stiffness.
Knee Replacement in North Dakota
If you have ongoing knee pain or stiffness, speak to the board-certified and fellowship-trained orthopedic physicians at The Bone & Joint Center. Our compassionate doctors specialize in joint replacement procedures and all aspects of surgical and nonsurgical care to effectively treat knee pain and many other orthopedic issues.
If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced knee doctors, contact our friendly staff today by calling us at (800) 424-2663 or by filling out our easy-to-use appointment request form online now. We have many locations across North Dakota for your convenience, and we look forward to helping you enjoy a pain-free lifestyle once again!