How Is Knee Manipulation Performed?


Quick Answer

Knee manipulation is performed with the use of anesthesia, so that the surgeon can apply steadily increasing pressure to the knee joint until he feels adhesions breaking loose. After holding the knee for 20 or 30 seconds, the surgeon flexes it and extends it several times, notes Bone Smart.

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Full Answer

Knee manipulation under anesthesia, or MUA, is a way to treat poor range of motion and/or stiffness after knee revision surgery or total knee arthroplasty. In about 6 percent of patients, these problems affect total knee replacement patients. The replacement surgery exposes some bodily tissues to the air. As a result, some of the essential lubricants inside those tissues evaporate. If those fluids are not swiftly replenished, the affected muscles can join and form adhesions, making it painful and difficult to move the joint. Light adhesions can work out with therapeutic massage and physiotherapy, but larger adhesions require manipulation, as stated by Bone Smart.

Once the manipulation procedure is over, the patient generally goes home that day, although some doctors like to have the patient stay overnight to ensure that pain management is sufficient. After the manipulation, physical therapy is recommended to keep the joint moving and hinder the development of more adhesions. Some doctors recommend a continuous passive motion machine to force the knee to flex, according to Bone Smart.

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