Q&A: In what instance is flexion a complication?

CDI Blog - Volume 12, Issue 65

Sharme Brodie, RN, CCDS,
answered this question.

Q: I’ve heard that flexion can be a complication, but I’m not sure how that could be. Could you explain it?

A: CDI professionals may hear of flexion as a complication in the context of amputations. Knee contraction or flexion contracture of the stump is one of the common problems that occurs among below the knee amputees (BKA). It occurs when the patient cannot fully straighten the knee, resulting from the shortening and tightness of the muscles, limiting the range of motion of the joint.

Because of this potential problem, amputees are usually educated to avoid placing pillows under the amputated joint for prolonged periods of time, and an extension board is commonly placed at the back of the knee to ensure the extension position.

The mobility of the joint is very important for someone who plans on using a prosthesis because it significantly affects the fitting and function of the prosthesis. I suggest having a conversation with someone in the physical therapy department for added education regarding this condition.

Editor’s Note: Sharme Brodie, RN, CCDS, CDI education specialist and CDI Boot Camp instructor for HCPro in Middleton, Massachusetts, answered this question. For information, contact her at sbrodie@hcpro.com. For information regarding CDI Boot Camps, click here.

Found in Categories: 
Ask ACDIS, Clinical & Coding

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