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"Post-traumatic knee stiffness is a common condition. It requires an accurate assessment of the injuries. Any CRPS must be controlled and fracture sites must have healed. A 3 to 6-month wait seems reasonable before any release surgery is carried out, however the final decision is made on a case-by-case basis according to the clinical and imaging findings...

There is practically no role for isolated manipulation under anaesthesia. Arthroscopic and open techniques can be used in combination within a well thought-out surgical plan to treat the various components of the stiffness in a single procedure. Drainage, control of postoperative pain and rehabilitation (early, daily, extensive and monitored) are essential to the success of this procedure."
Post-traumatic knee stiffness: Surgical techniques (includes link to free .pdf file - loads of interesting photos and illustrations)


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Am J Sports Med. 2010 Nov;38(11):2288-93. doi: 10.1177/0363546510378074. Epub 2010 Aug 31.
Restoration of knee volume using selected arthroscopic releases.
Dragoo JL1, Miller MD, Vaughn ZD, Schmidt JD, Handley E.

For full article:

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"Arthroscopic aided quadriceps adhesion release is a good option in cases of neglected trauma"
Acta Orthop Belg. 2005 Apr;71(2):197-203.
Extra articular arthroscopic release in post-traumatic stiff knees: a prospective study of endoscopic quadriceps and patellar release.
Dhillon MS1, Panday AK, Aggarwal S, Nagi ON.

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No abstract
Instr Course Lect. 2000;49:211-21.
Surgical treatment of arthrofibrosis of the knee.
Lindenfeld TN1, Wojtys EM, Husain A.

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"Capsular distention with fluid before arthroscopy results in easier and safer insertion of arthroscopic instruments with improved arthroscopic visualization. In addition, it stretches the entire capsule, including the difficult to access posterior capsule. "
Arthroscopy. 2001 Sep;17(7):E31.
The role of capsular distention in the arthroscopic management of arthrofibrosis of the knee: A technical consideration.
Millett PJ1, Steadman JR.

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"On the basis of the results of several biomechanical studies, it appears that ACL reconstruction may be performed with the knee in full extension during graft placement with excellent results and a very low rate of loss of extension. Use of the descriptive term "loss of extension" is preferred to the often misleading terms "arthrofibrosis" and "flexion contracture.""
J Am Acad Orthop Surg. 1999 Mar-Apr;7(2):119-27.
Loss of extension after reconstruction of the anterior cruciate ligament.
Petsche TS1, Hutchinson MR.

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Early paper describing the outcomes of 61 lysis of adhesion procedures performed for arthrofibrosis of the knee between 1981 and 1990. 
The surgical treatment of arthrofibrosis of the knee.
Cosgarea AJ, DeHaven KE, Lovelock JE.
Am J Sports Med. 1994 Mar-Apr;22(2):184-91.

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An early paper, in which the authors 'present a systematic, wholly arthroscopic surgical approach to this difficult problem. The technique includes assessment of patellar mobility, resection of intraarticular adhesions, release of possible extracapsular bands, resection of fibrotic fat pad, and lateral and medial releases if indicated.'
Arthroscopic management of arthrofibrosis of the knee, including infrapatellar contraction syndrome.
Richmond JC, al Assal M.
Arthroscopy. 1991;7(2):144-7.

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"To determine if differences in costs and risks of re-hospitalization and/or re-operation exist between arthrofibrosis patients treated with low intensity stretch (LIS) or high intensity stretch (HIS) mechanical therapies, or physical therapy alone (No Device)"
Curr Med Res Opin. 2010 May;26(5):1109-18. doi: 10.1185/03007991003676479.
Knee-attributable medical costs and risk of re-surgery among patients utilizing non-surgical treatment options for knee arthrofibrosis in a managed care population.
Stephenson JJ1, Quimbo RA, Gu T.

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Early Paper
"...arthroscopic intraarticular release of adhesions is efficacious in the management of arthrofibrosis of the knee subsequent to previous open operative procedures..."
Clin Orthop Relat Res. 1988 Apr;(229):185-92.
The role of arthroscopy in the treatment of postoperative fibroarthrosis of the knee joint.
Parisien JS
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