(We repost this anonymous question with answer here, since we are retiring the FAQ page)When is it too late for a cure?
Each procedure I had done made my condition worse. I am several years out from the start of it so feel like there is currently no way to improve my condition.
This is an important question about which, unfortunately, there has been no proper research. Anecdotally, the first 6 months after the onset of arthrofibrosis (post operation or injury) is the easiest time to stop arthrofibrosis, and for the period of up to a year it may still be possible to do this. After a year the collagen that makes up the scar tissue becomes strongly cross-linked with strong bonds that are particularly difficult for the body to break. This means that the scar tissue can remain in the body long term, instead of being broken down and removed. Feedback processes between the inflammatory and fibrosis systems of the body become well established, and these processes feed and reinforce each other. Surgery may re-set the body by removing the scar tissue and some of the special cells (myofibroblasts) that create it, permitting recovery. However, surgery powerfully stimulates inflammation and wound healing processes. It is these factors that cause arthrofibrosis, and surgery sometimes makes symptoms worse in the long term as the body’s processes become yet more dysregulated. We can’t predict yet who will benefit from surgery, and who will have a worse outcome. People who have a lot of inflammation and pain may be at the greatest risk of having worse outcomes, and controlling inflammation should always be a priority.