Would a knee brace help with my arthritis?

I’ve gradually started losing knee motion from arthritis. The X-rays show degenerative changes in and around the joint. Would it help to wear some kind of brace or splint at night to hold that knee straight?

Loss of knee extension is called a knee flexion contracture. It means your knee is stuck in a position of flexion and can’t straighten all the way. Without full knee extension, your ability to walk is affected. Not only does it take more energy to walk without full extension, but it slows you down!

Most surgeons would advise a total knee replacement. Preoperative casting or stretch-bracing have been suggested to reduce the knee flexion contracture. The idea is to restore as much motion as possible to make the surgery easier.

There are very few studies to investigate this idea. It’s likely the time it would take to gain a few degrees of motion wouldn’t be worth the extra pain and loss of daily function. Extension can be much more easily restored during surgery.

The surgeon will take the necessary steps to balance the soft tissues and remove any bone spurs affecting motion. Joint motion is checked and rechecked during the operation. Minor adjustments are made in bone structure, joint capsule, and tendon length until full motion is available.

For more information on this subject, call The Zehr Center for Orthopaedics at 239-596-0100 or visit www.zehrcenter.com. The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of a visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.

What’s a simple hip dislocation? That’s a term being used for my hip fracture and it seems like anything but simple.

What’s a simple hip dislocation? That’s a term being used for my hip fracture and to me it seems like anything but simple.

A simple hip dislocation refers to dislocation without a fracture. Complex fracture-dislocations involve popping the round head of the femur (thigh bone) out of the acetabulum (socket) with a fracture of the acetabulum at the same time. Acetabular fractures affect the joint surface where the head of the femur moves against the joint surface to provide joint motion.If you can look at it this way, a simple dislocation has some long-term benefits, too. Only one out of every four patients with a simple dislocation results in hip arthritis later. It’s the dislocations accompanied by an acetabular fracture that present later with problems including arthritis. About 88 per cent of those complex fracture-dislocations damage the joint resulting in death of the bone (osteonecrosis) and osteoarthritis.Simple dislocations are often easier to reduce (set back in place) without major surgery. The patient is still sedated to achieve deep relaxation of the surrounding muscles. But with a few quick and easy techniques, closed reduction is possible. The more complex dislocations with fractures or other injuries often require arthroscopic or even open-incision surgery. There is a greater risk of complications with loss of blood flow, osteonecrosis (death of bone), infection, and poor outcomes with complex dislocations.

For more information on this subject, call The Zehr Center for Orthopaedics at 239-596-0100 or visit www.zehrcenter.com. The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of a visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.