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leithlane (@leithlane)

Scar tissue after knee replacement

Joint Replacements | Last Active: May 2 12:42am | Replies (1301)

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I had a total knee replacement 8 months ago it it has been hell. I have had two manipulations, the second one popping open part of my three month old incision. I have may havee 78 degree bend after all this crap. I am currently having saline injections to try and help break up the scar tissue. After 3 treatments I have gained 12 degrees. Would never have done this had I know this would be the result.

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Replies to "I had a total knee replacement 8 months ago it it has been hell. I have..."

Hello @maggiet, and welcome to Connect.

I can understand your frustrations and concerns as I have experienced all of what you are experiencing now. I had my right knee replaced at age 19 because of a genetic disability that left my right knee with end-stage arthritis beginning at the age of 9. I had a horrid recovery and also had two manipulations because my scar tissue growth was so aggressive. My range-of-motion was 10-40 degrees for the better part of the first year.

I kept with my rehab and stayed active, and eventually I felt a “pop” in my knee and over the next few days I went to 0-100 degree flexion and extension. This all developed 1.5-2 years after my initial replacement. I can say 11 years later, my knee has not degraded at all and my quality of life is so much better. Stick with it, it will come, even if it takes longer than what others maybe expected. Stick with the PT & keep your spirits up.

@maggiet, how are your exercises going? I admit that I did not push myself hard enough because of the pain and that hindered my progress. How is your pain?

This is the first time I have ever joined a discussion group for medical issue or anything else for that matter. I had a left TKR on 9/6/17. In 2015 I tore my left meniscus and had surgery done. Since that arthroscopic repair I had a chronic flexion contraction; my left leg was permanently bent at 15 degrees unable to straighten of fully bend the leg. I walked with a chronic limp. I still managed to stay very active; running, hiking, biking. The arthritis continued to get worse and the limping was affecting my hip and back. A total knee replacement was my only option. I bit the bullet and found a surgeon. I was able to straighten my knee but not bend it; the best I have gotten is 85 degrees. I had a manipulation done on Halloween but despite doing aggressive physical therapy the stiffness returned and my knee is just the same as it was before. I had a follow up yesterday with my surgeon and they say there is not much more that can be done. They are going to put me in a dynasplint and see how that works.
I cried all the way home and at work today wondering how am I going to function like this. I have to walk with a walker and can basically do nothing; not even walk my dog. I am so overwhelmed by this. I am only 46 and cannot think that this is how it is going to be the rest of my life. This sucks to say the least.
I got a call from a friend who is an orthopedic surgeon and does sports medicine. He told me about a therapy called Astym therapy. He said that it has been used for people who developed arthrofibrosis following knee replacement and they had a fairly good result with it. I will be looking into this for myself but you can find a lot more info on the internet about this. I found a research paper that looked at 16 patients who had good outcomes with this. It is noninvasive so it wouldn’t hurt to at least try this. I hope this information helps.

Hello @hospdoc, and welcome to Connect. Thank you for sharing your story with the other members of this group and discussion.

I also had a bad recovery from a total knee replacement in 2006. I had to have two manipulations, and when that didn’t work I did a full leg cast with cranks at the knee joint that I would turn to manually apply pressure to bend my knee. That still didn’t work. One day, about a year and a half after my surgery I popped the knee loose on my own on accident and I now have 0-100.

From one TKR to another, all I can say is keep pushing and keeping seeking answers, it can get better, even if it takes more time than you originally thought. I’d be interested to hear more about your astym treatment if you don’t mind sharing with the group.

I am in the same spot as you, I had my first surgery in August. I am in severe pain, had arthroscopy to remove dense scar tissue the day before Halloween. Despite different pain management doctors prescribing nearly everything under the sun, I’ve had no improvement to the pain. I was getting 110-105 the first few weeks, but this past Friday only achieved 96 degrees, all while screaming in tears with pts physically pushing me.

I wish i had found this site before i had mine done.