240220 Normal knee range of motion or the lack thereof and the link with osteoarthritis 3/4
In this study, conducted by the Shelburne Knee Center, 780 ACL reconstruction patients with at least five years post-surgery were re-examined for their current range of motion and (osteoarthritis) with radiographs . These evaluations were made according to the International Knee Documentation Committee objective criteria . “Normal extension was considered to be within 2 degrees of the opposite knee, including hyperextension; normal knee flexion was considered to be within 5 degrees of the opposite knee. Radiographs were rated as abnormal if any sign of joint space narrowing, sclerosis, or osteophytes was present.”
These are very narrow tolerances between knees and after a surgery, they may seem to be next to impossible to achieve, but obtain them you must!
Read carefully the following information because it may give you more incentive to regain your full range of motion after the surgery.
The doctors found that among the patients that had normal extension and flexion, 71% had normal radiographs with no signs of osteoarthritis within that joint.
The patients that had any ROM deficit showed only 55% normal radiographs. Of those patients with intact menisci, 77% of them with normal ROM also had normal radiographs, whereas 67% of the group who lacked normal ROM had normal radiographs.
Among the 780 patients with a medial meniscectomy who had retained normal ROM, 56% had normal radiographs. For those in the same group without normal range of motion, only 38% had normal radiographs. Similar findings showed up for patients that had undergone a lateral meniscectomy or in those with both menisci removed.
Approximately 92%, over 717, of the study group experienced hyperextension in their knees, with an average around 5°, this ranged between 1° and 14°. The doctors were able to detect the subtle degrees of differences between the knees by “holding the thigh in place with one hand and using the other hand to hold the ball of the foot to lift the heel off the examination table. This evaluation of passive knee extension should be compared to the other knee to feel subtle differences in extension, the researchers observed.”