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Back story, I”m 34 years old, former collegiate soccer goalkeeper. At 20 years old I tore ACL/MCL/meniscus. In the next 2 years I had two more meniscectomies. At 24 I had a meniscus/cartilage transplant. At 26 I had another meniscectomy of the transplanted meniscus and was told that the next and only knee surgery my surgeon would perform would be a replacement. Last year, I had a cultured stem cell transplant in my knee. All that to say, I’m not wanting to have a TKR. For most of my daily activities I’m pain free, but the biggest set back is my range of motion. For example doing the couch stretch I can barely get my opposite leg on the floor. If i was to do a standing quad stretch my left knee can get heel to butt, my right knee is at least 6-8 inches from reaching my butt. Also if I was to extend both legs will sitting on the floor, the back of the left knee can touch ground and heel get off the floor, the back of the right knee is an inch away from reaching the floor. What exercises/stretches/therapies can break this scar tissue limiting my ROM.
Sorry to hear about the multiple surgeries and loss of ROM. Were you ever able to regain full ROM following any of these surgeries or have you never been able to achieve full flexion and extension? The first goal following any of these post op procedures is restoring ROM and not being able to achieve this during the initial rehab does tend to make it more challenging especially considering you are years out from the surgeries. But you’ll still want to restore whatever you can or at least maintain as much function as possible. You can start by restoring sliding surfaces. If you notice around the surgical incisions that the skin is tacked down at all, you can implement some cross friction massage, rolling, IASTM, and massage could all work to start restoring the sliding surfaces. For mobility work, oftentimes doing some soft tissue work upstream and downstream before stretching can help you get a little more access to ROM. So try rolling out the hamstrings and even calves while working on knee extension and rolling out the quads before going into a hip flexor stretch. You don’t have to get all the way upright when performing a couch stretch but can instead work your way up by first having your hands and elbows on the ground till you can progress to sitting upright. Here are a few routines to try out.