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Knee Manipulation

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Feb 4, 2024.

What is knee manipulation?

Knee manipulation is a procedure to treat knee stiffness and decreased range of motion. After trauma or knee surgery, scar tissue can form in your joint. The scar tissue does not allow you to fully bend or straighten your leg. Knee manipulation breaks up the scar tissue that has formed.

How do I prepare for knee manipulation?

Your healthcare provider will tell you how to prepare for your procedure. He or she may tell you not to eat or drink after midnight the day before your procedure. He or she will tell you what medicine to take or not take before your procedure. You may need to stop taking blood thinner medicine or NSAIDs several days before your procedure. Ask someone to drive you home and stay with you for at least a day after your procedure.

What will happen during knee manipulation?

You will be given general anesthesia to keep you asleep and free from pain during your procedure. Your healthcare provider will move your knee in different directions. He or she will repeat this several times. Movement helps break up scar tissue and increases your range of motion.

What can I expect after knee manipulation?

You may have pain and swelling in your knee for a few days. It may take several weeks for your range of motion and stiffness to improve. You may start physical therapy the day after your knee manipulation. This helps prevent your knee from becoming stiff again.

What are the risks of knee manipulation?

Knee manipulation may cause 1 or more leg bones to break. It may also damage the ligaments and tendons in your leg. You may still have stiffness or problems moving your knee after knee manipulation.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.