Arthrofibrosis refers to a condition where excessive scar tissues growing during surgery wound healing starts to ply with the surrounding joints and soft tissues, filling up spaces in between and therefore, causes movement limitation and pain. Excessive scar tissues growing after surgeries can be located in various body parts, such as the shoulders, ankles, hips, wrists, and knees. Excessive scar tissue growth affecting the knee is said to be the result of lack of movement therapy performed during post-surgery wound healing, although it may also depend on certain patient’s speed on tissue growth.
How excessive scar tissues affect the knee
Excessive scar tissues growing on the knee ply the joints and soft tissues around this part of the body, resulting in restricted normal knee motions. This plied joint and scar tissues makes certain or all knee joint movements painful, and in some cases, impossible. Aside from this immobility, excessive scar tissues on the knee also cause stiffness, limping, heat, swelling, and weakness. When left untreated, this medical issue might cause the knee flexion and extension impossible to do.
Treatments for scar tissues in knee
As excessive scar tissues which are plied to the surrounding joints fill up the spaces and prevent these joints from being able to move, it is important to remove the ply by breaking it up. You can know you are having scar tissues in the knee if you observe one or more of these symptoms:
- Throbbing pain in knee
- Stiffness of the knee after surgery
- Inability to bend the knee
- Swelling of the tissues around the knee
It becomes clear, therefore, that breaking up these plied scar tissues is a method of restoring knee flexibility, so that gradually the pain caused by the scar tissues subsides. Various medical treatments and procedures can be done in relieving stiff joints in knee after surgery. However, there are treatments which can be done at home to regain knee flexibility. In fact, these home treatments and remedies are beneficial in helping you gain knee mobility within weeks, although some pain might occur while you are doing it.
This exercise is low-impact yet very effective in strengthening the muscles and provoking its flexibility. Walking regularly will help you loosen the plied scar tissues and reduce knee stiffness after surgery. Do this exercise gradually by starting with short distance and slow pace. Add the distance and pace if you do not experience elevating pain after every exercise.
Cycling—which is done moderately will stretch tight tissues and build weak muscles. The exercise bike can also be used as a replacement to bicycles. Watch the knee after every cycling exercise. As long as this does not cause excessive swelling, it is a safe treatment for breaking scar tissues and gain knee flex.
Doing some stretching at home is also helpful for breaking scar tissues formed after knee surgery. Laying on stomach and bend the knee toward the buttocks will stretch knee muscles and loosen the scar tissues.
These treatments can be combined with other exercises and treatments you can get in professional medical centers. Those treatments include:
- Water exercise
Water exercise, especially which is done in both warm and cold water alternately is very beneficial in relaxing the muscles and plied scar tissues in knee. These different temperature water will reduce swelling caused by scar tissues in knee. Stretching in water also helps gaining muscle flex effectively.
- Heat and massage
Post-surgery scar tissues can also be broken by applying heat on the incision site to relax the muscles. Thorough massaging also helps breaking up the scar tissues, which results in loosened up tissues, reducing cause pain in the knee.
- Elevating the knee
Elevating the knee by placing in on a pillow with similar height with the seat while sitting is good for stretching the scar tissues, which will eventually remove its ply with surrounding tissues. Put the knee down occasionally and place it back on the pillow to gain flexibility.
Scar tissues occurring after knee surgery might be a common problem. However, it should not be neglected. Instead, you need to do some exercises to gain flexibility and power of the knee. Any exercises should be harmless, as long as it does not promote elevating knee pain.