Stiffness following total knee arthroplasty: Evaluation and treatment

Varatharaj Mounasamy, Etienne L. Beizile, Joseph T. Moskal, Thomas E. Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Total knee arthroplasty (TKA) for advanced arthritis of the knee is one of the most successful orthopaedic reconstructive procedures performed with excellent patient satisfaction and functional outcomes. Stiffness following total knee arthroplasty is relatively common and has a multifactorial etiology with associated pain and decreased range of motion. Preoperative flexion is found to be an important variable of post-operative range of motion and hence, the patients should be well informed of the outcomes, activity restrictions and questioned as to their expectations before surgery to achieve an optimum result. Detailed analysis of the etiology of stiffness with specific reference to patient factors, technical errors and others factors during the course of operative treatment and rehabilitation need to be assessed after ruling out infection. Treatment methods for stiffness following TKA include non-operative management, extensive physiotherapy, manipulation under anesthesia, arthroscopic arthrolysis, open arthrolysis with or without component exchange and revision arthroplasty. Treatment should be directed towards the specific cause, and poor results are likely for revision TKA surgery without identifying the specific etiology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)165-171
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery and Traumatology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Posterior cruciate ligament (PCL)
  • Range of motion (ROM)
  • Revision arthroplasty
  • Stiffness
  • Total knee arthroplasty (TKA)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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