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Thompson′s quadricepsplasty for stiff knee

Author(s): Kundu Z | Sangwan S | Guliani G | Siwach R | Kamboj P | Singh Raj

Journal: Indian Journal of Orthopaedics
ISSN 0019-5413

Volume: 41;
Issue: 4;
Start page: 390;
Date: 2007;
Original page

Keywords: Knee stiffness | Thompson′s quadricepsplasty | continuous passive motion

Background : Stiffness of the knee after trauma and/or surgery for femoral fractures is one of the most common complications and is difficult to treat. Stiffness in extension is more common and can be reduced by vigorous physiotherapy. If it does not improve then quadricepsplasty is indicated. The present study was undertaken to evaluate the results of Thompsons quadricepsplasty. Materials and Methods : 22 male patients (age range 20-45 years) with posttraumatic knee stiffness following distal femoral fractures underwent Thompson′s quadricepsplasty where knee flexion range was less than 45°. The index injury in these patients was treated with plaster cast (n=5), plates (n=3), intramedullary nailing (n=3) and external fixator for open fractures (n=9). Thompson′s quadricepsplasty was performed in all the patients using anterior approach, with incision extending from upper thigh to tibial tubercle. Release of rectus femoris from underlying vastus intermedius and release of intraarticular adhesions were performed. After surgery the patients needed parentral analgesia for three days and then oral analgesics for three weeks. Active assisted knee mobilization exercises were started on the first post-operative day. Continous passive motion machine was used from the same day. Supervised physiotherapy was continued in hospital for six weeks followed by intensive knee flexion and extension exercise including cycling at home for atleast another six months. Results : Out of 22 patients, 20 had excellent to good results and two patients had poor results using criteria devised by Judet. One poor result was due to peroperative fracture of patella which was then internally fixed and hence the flexion of knee could not be started immediately. There was peroperative avulsion of tibial tuberosity in another patient who finally gained less than 50° knee flexion and hence a poor result. Conclusion : Thompsons quadricepsplasty followed by a strict and rigourous postoperative physiotherapy protocol successfully increases the range of knee flexion.
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