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"What kind of pain will I endure with a knee MUA?"

ZocdocAnswersWhat kind of pain will I endure with a knee MUA?


I had a TKR in Aug. this yera and now am about to have the MUA on Wed. I suffer from avascular necrosis as well.


I'm sorry to hear about your knee stiffness following your total knee replacement. Stiffness following total knee replacement can be a very frustrating, painful, and difficult problem. Before we begin, I just want to emphasize the importance of following up with your orthopaedic surgeon for definitive evaluation and treatment. That said, your question is a difficult one to answer. Pain is obviously a very subjective and personal symptom, and therefore it is difficult to anticipate your pain following your manipulation. Stiffness following knee replacement is cause by multiple predisposing factors, but usually manifests in the painful inability to fully bend your knee due to the formation of scar tissue. In other words, stiffness is caused by scar tissue in the knee, which make bending difficult and painful. Accordingly, most patients with this problem already have pain associated with their knee replacement at baseline. The purpose of an MUA (manipulation under anesthesia) is to put you under anesthesia to fully relax your leg muscles, and gently but firmly bend your knee as far back as your anatomy will reasonably permit without injuring you. While you are asleep during this, the bending serves to break up your scar tissue, which will certainly hurt after the procedure, but likely not nearly as much as after your initial knee replacement surgery. Your pain level after the procedure will also depend on the types of pain medications that are provided to you, such as oral narcotics, nerve catheters, etc. Generally speaking, I would expect your pain level to be somewhere between the pain you had with knee replacement and typical physical therapy, but again, everyone is different. Again, please consult your orthopaedic surgeon for definitive evaluation and treatment.

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