Arthroscopic Lysis of Adhesions With Manipulation for Management of Late-Presenting Stiffness After Total Knee Arthroplasty

Austin M. Middleton, Michael J. Ziegele*, Carole S. Vetter, Adam I. Edelstein

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Background: Arthrofibrosis is a known complication of total knee arthroplasty (TKA). Closed manipulation is the treatment of choice for arthrofibrosis within 90 days of TKA. Treatment for arthrofibrosis that has failed prior interventions remains controversial, and the role for arthroscopic lysis of adhesions has not been examined for late-presenting arthrofibrosis. Methods: A retrospective analysis of patients who underwent arthroscopic lysis of adhesions (LOAs) with manipulation for post-TKA arthrofibrosis was performed. Chart review included patient characteristics, time from TKA, prior interventions, and range of motion (ROM) data. Knee extension, flexion, and total ROM were recorded preoperatively, intraoperatively, and throughout follow-up. Knee ROM was compared at the different time intervals using Wilcoxon signed-rank tests. Results: A total of 13 patients (6 male and 7 female) with a mean age of 66.3 years were included. Average time since index TKA was 57.2 months (3.7-209.5). Ten of 13 patients had undergone prior interventions for arthrofibrosis, which included closed manipulation under anesthesia, open LOA, and revision arthroplasty. The mean preoperative knee flexion and extension values for the cohort were 76.5 ± 17.4 and −4.6 ± 6.1 degrees, respectively. Postoperative improvements in knee ROM were significant at all time points, with mean improvements of 17.2 ± 16.3 degrees at 1 week (P = .022), 17.2 ± 13.2 degrees at 4 weeks (P = .001), 19.2 ± 16.0 degrees at 8 weeks (P = .004), and 25.2 ± 13.1 degrees at 12 weeks (P = .005). No complications were recorded. Conclusions: Arthroscopic LOAs with manipulation achieves significant improvements in knee ROM for late-presenting arthrofibrosis after TKA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)761-765
Number of pages5
JournalArthroplasty Today
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2020


  • Arthroplasty
  • Knee
  • Lysis of adhesions
  • Manipulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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