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Date of last update: 10/01/2017.

Forum Name: Joint surgery

Question: Knee swelling continues years post ACL repair

 Heatsink - Sun Jun 06, 2010 5:01 pm

I had a Patellar graft to repair a torn ACL 7 years ago. The doctor had me not stand or use the repaired knee for 30 days following the procedure(I had a knee immobilizer on), instead of the usual range of motion therapy. He didn't give me a reason for doing this even when I asked.

I didn't regain full motion of my knee, and sports of any kind cause extreme swelling in my repaired knee even with a knee brace. The doctor tells me there is nothing he can do, and prescribes naproxen to try to control the swelling(which doesn't work too well). A MRI shows the graft is in place though.

I'm interested in any opinions on this line of treatment and the knee swelling? Thanks!
 Dr.M.Aroon kamath - Sun Jun 20, 2010 5:03 am

User avatar Hi,
Most patients (close to 90%) will be expected to recover fully following surgery.Complications occur in about 10% of cases.

Some specific complications related to the ACL repairs are
- persistent pain and swelling (synovitis/effusion),
- anterior knee pain,
- restriction of range of motion, and
- residual ligament laxity due to graft failure.

Although general guidelines exist for Post-ACL rehab, it is very important that each person should progresses through their rehab as their knee allows(an individualized management). Therefore it is important to ensure that rehab occurs under supervision of a physical therapist and physician.

Despite successful surgery and meticulous rehab, in 10% of cases, symptoms may persist.One of the causes which needs special mention is when an associated meniscal injury escapes detection even in the best of hands(both on MRI & at surgery).Injuries to the posterior horn of the lateral meniscus are notorious for escaping detection.

As your pain is persisting, you must have yourself re-evaluated by your orthopedic surgeon.Best wishes!

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