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Flexion Deformity of the Knee

What is Flexion Deformity of the Knee?

It is the inability to fully straighten the knee. It is also known as flexion contracture. This occurs when the tissues in your knees thicken after a period of immobilization and prevent your knee from bending.

Can physiotherapy help people with flexion deformity of the knee?

Yes. Flexion deformity of the knee can either be mild, moderate or severe. Mild and moderate deformity respond to physiotherapy while severe deformity requires a surgical intervention, after which physiotherapy is necessitated.

What causes flexion deformity of the knee?

It is a common complication following trauma, inflammatory conditions, immobilisation, burns and congenital deformities. It can occur in the following conditions:

  • Scar tissue formation after burns injury

  • Fractures, especially the ones occurring close to a joint

  • Septic arthritis

  • Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis

  • Cerebral palsy

How do I know if I have flexion deformity of the knee?

You will experience the following:

  • Walking with a bent knee

  • Pain in front of the knee

  • Muscle weakness and fatigue, particularly in front of the thigh

  • Difficulty bearing full weight on the affected leg

  • Difficulty positioning yourself in bed and chair

  • Performing normal activities has become difficulty as you require more energy to carry them out

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