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Had a hip dislocation, now have numbness due to compressed nerve in knee. Is forceful bending harmful?

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Orthopaedic Surgeon
Practicing since : 2000
Answered : 170 Questions
Hi Doc,

I met with an accident around a month ago and had a hip dislocation. A closed reduction was performed immediately and I have recovered for 4 weeks (age 26). However, I have numbness in the knee and my earlier doc said that it was compressed nerve and will heal on its own and will take minimum of 6 weeks. But my physio asks me to bend the knee forcefully even if it pains (so that I can start walking )but I am facing problems in bending the knee. Should I forcefully bend the knee as suggested by her or should I wait till the compressed nerve heals? There is no bone fracture in the knee according to the XRay confirmed by my earlier doctor.
Posted Fri, 27 Apr 2012 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. Atul Wankhede 12 hours later
Thanks for posting your question.

Your doctor was right when he said that the nerve was compressed on dislocation. It leads to a condition known as Neuropraxia. In this condition the nerve is not completely disfunctional but just traumatised that leads to temporary loss of function. Like in your case the nerve that supplies sensations around knee seems to be affected. But let me remind you that it has no role in knee bending. That is a purely motor function.

The stiffness that you have developed must be a result of immobilisation post dislocation. In my opinion a lot of time has already past and you should get on with the physiotherapy. The numbness around the knee will go in a few days as neuropraxia completely recovers, but that is not the problem. The challenge is to get the range of movement in knee joint completely. And believe me it takes a lot of effort.

I suggest you take your physiotherapist's advice and work with full determination even if it hurts initially. Once the stiffness sets in it will be difficult to regain your flexion.

In addition to calcium you may ask your doctor to prescribe antiinflammatory medicines for sustaining physiotherapy. You must continue massage with myostal liniment to achieve early flexibility. Keep measuring your range of motion every week to assess the progress.

I hope this helps you and if you need more help I'm available for follow up.
Good luck.
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