Evaluation of a Custom Device for the Treatment of Flexion Contractures after Total Knee Arthroplasty




Knee flexion contractures can severely impair function after total knee arthroplasties. We evaluated the use of a custom-molded knee device to treat 47 patients who had knee flexion contractures (mean, 22°; range, 10°–40°) after primary or revision total knee arthroplasties and who had failed conventional therapeutic methods. The device was used for 30 to 45 minutes per session two to three times per day in conjunction with standard physical therapy modalities two to three times per week. Twenty-seven of 29 patients who underwent primary total knee arthroplasty and 13 of 18 patients who underwent revisions achieved full extension after a mean treatment time of 9 weeks (range, 6–16 weeks). Full knee extension was maintained at a minimum followup of 18 months (mean, 24 months; range, 18–36 months). The mean Knee Society knee and functional scores improved from 50 points and 34 points to 91 points and 89 points, respectively. This protocol had comparable rates of improvement in knee extension with less treatment time when compared with other nonoperative treatments reported in the literature. The custom knee device may be a useful adjunct to a physical therapy regimen for knee flexion contractures after total knee arthroplasty.

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