Clinical manifestations

The clinical diagnosis of arthrofibrosis is often one of exclusion. Classic symptoms appear after surgery or trauma, especially after prolonged period of immobilization of greater than 6 weeks. The disorder is characterized by a limitation of both active and passive range of motion of the wrist joint that is not primarily due to arthritis or other underlying conditions. Swelling and pain are invariably accompanying symptoms, and often lead to sleep disturbance.

Despite intensive physiotherapy, the wrist range of motion does not achieve the expected improvements and a plateau is eventually reached. The progression of the disability leads to stiffness and restricted movement. Wrist range of motion of flexion-extension, pronation-supination, radial-ulnar deviation, will be variably affected.

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