, Volume 3, Issue 2, pp 182-189
Date: 05 Jun 2007

Etiology and Surgical Interventions for Stiff Total Knee Replacements

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Abstract

Stiffness is the most prevalent early local complication of primary total knee replacement, affecting approximately 6 to 7% of patients undergoing surgery. The definition of stiffness after total knee replacement in terms of restriction of the arc of motion has evolved in the last 2 decades as patients and physicians expect better postoperative functional outcomes. Gentle manipulation under anesthesia within 3 to 4 months of surgery improves the range of motion in most patients. However, approximately 1% of patients, including those in which the window for manipulation has passed, will require further surgical interventions, which may include arthroscopy with lysis of adhesions, open debridement with exchange of the polyethylene insert, or revision of one or more components. This review will focus on describing the etiology of the problem and the results of the different surgical interventions for stiffness after total knee replacement.