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Pain: knee pain
Nearly all joints are stiff and painful immediately after they have been released from immobilization. It is probably to do with poor joint nutrition as the joint surface is nourished by the joint fluid. This fluid is squeezed into the articular cartilage by movement and pressure (like a sponge). So when the joint hasn't been moving the cells of the joint surface are suffering a bit. As soon as the joint has started moving and "loosening up" for a few days this pain goes away.
Another reason for painful stiff joints would be adhesions forming in the joint sticking one part of the joint to another. This would happen if there had been bleeding into the joint at the time of the injury or if there was a lot of bruising around the joint to make the tendons and ligaments stick together. If the knee was not involved in the injury this is less likely.
Gentle movement gradually stretching the joint until you can recover the full range of motion is the best way to improve this situation.
Myles Clough MD
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