Traumatic ligament injury usually means one thing – pain. But researchers from the University of Western Australia, Edith Cowan University, China’s Wenzhou Medical University and Guangxi Medical University, and the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York have discovered it comes in two forms.
The results will help improve treatment for a debilitating joint condition that can end the careers of elite athletes and cause years of misery for the rest of us.
Arthrofibrosis – also known as frozen shoulder, stiff knee and stiff elbow – affects up to 15 per cent of people who suffer ligament injury or undergo surgical procedures like knee replacement.
Lead researcher Dr Kayley Usher says understanding of the condition is poor and some treatments, such as aggressive exercise, may actually make it worse.
“For the first time, we propose that arthrofibrosis may come in two forms – active and residual – and the best treatment option may be different depending on which form it is,” Dr Usher says.
“Biomarkers could be used before surgery takes place to determine who would be at higher risk of developing the condition post-operation and also to determine how well a particular therapy was working.”
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