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leithlane (@leithlane)

Scar tissue after knee replacement

Joint Replacements | Last Active: May 1 9:20am | Replies (1475)

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I had my TKR 7 weeks ago…going in this week to try to break the scar tissue…they are putting me out. Haven’t slept well since the surgery…great deal of pain. Biggest issue is Range of Motion…only at 95 degrees. I want to remain active, but I’m getting nervous. Surgeons did not recommend Physical Therapy initially, but now they want me to start. I’m confused about that as well…I’ve worked it hard at home.

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Replies to "I had my TKR 7 weeks ago...going in this week to try to break the scar..."

Hello @rjmurray41, welcome to Connect.

If you are only at 7 weeks, try to not get discouraged just yet. It took me well over a year to find my new norm. Like you, I struggled with extreme scar tissue formation. I also had to have two manipulations where they put me back under to break the scar tissue. I had a horrible recovery, but I was also battling 12 years of right leg muscle atrophy and joint flexion, so I was trying to reverse a decades worth of not having my leg straight or bent properly. In the end, I ended up getting to 0-105 degrees or so of flexion.

I also did not do physical therapy except for what they gave me to do at home. Looking back, I was not nearly as disciplined as I should have been to combat the scar tissue. Pain can be debilitating, especially when trying to rehab.

@rjmurray41, if you don’t mind sharing, are you concerned about the procedure to break up the scar tissue? How are you currently managing your pain? I also had a lot of pain after the replacement, but it does get progressively better (and so does the sleep, I became a major insomniac for the first few months).

As Justin said …. with only 7 weeks behind you, you just can’t expect it to look very good. I had my original TKR 4 years ago, and a revision to that one a year afterwards ….. that was almost 3 years ago. I still have quite a scar on my knee and I suspect I always will. I consider it my “badge of courage” ….. I have many friends who are too afraid to have a TKR …. not me, get er’ done is my philosophy. I’m not sure what is meant by breaking it up. I just rubbed coconut oil (the solid) on it for a year with no results. Please don’t misinterpret this as discouraging you …. I’m not doing that intentionally, but some things may have to be lived with.

Hi Justin. I am concerned about the procedure…namely, I’m worried that forcing the knee to bend could have some adverse effects on the ligaments and tendons in my knee. I have had 4 surgeries prior to this including an ACL, so to me it sounds a little like we are just going to force the bend and see what happens. I’m not a doctor…so I don’t expect to completely understand. I just don’t completely know the risk vs the reward. I want to get back to riding a bike…maybe doubles tennis…that kind of thing. I’m working on my patience and long term approach to the whole thing.