Static progressive stretch for the treatment of knee stiffness.
Persistent knee stiffness is common after knee arthroplasties, cruciate ligament repairs, and trauma. Static progressive stretch protocols have shown success in treating contractures of the elbow, ankle, and knee in case reports and small case series. This study evaluated static progressive stretch as a treatment method for patients who had refractory knee stiffness, and compared the outcomes to published results of other therapeutic modalities. Forty-one patients who had knee stiffness and who had not improved with conventional physical therapy modalities were treated with a patient-directed orthosis that utilized the principles of static progressive stretch. After a mean of 9 weeks of use (range, 3 to 27 weeks), the total arc of motion increased by a mean of 33 degrees (range, 0 to 85 degrees ). Forty of 41 patients had increased motion at a mean final follow-up time of 1 year (range, 6 months to 2 years), and 93% were satisfied with the results. The outcomes were comparable to other nonoperative treatments reported in the literature, but the results in the present study occurred in a shorter mean treatment time. An orthosis that utilizes the principles of static progressive stretch may be a successful treatment for improving the range of motion and satisfaction of patients who have knee contractures.
Bonutti, PM; McGrath, MS; Ulrich, SD; McKenzie, SA; Seyler, TM; Mont, MA
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