← Return to Total Knee Replacement: Swelling


Total Knee Replacement: Swelling

Joint Replacements | Last Active: Aug 7, 2023 | Replies (60)

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Much like The first reply to my post yours is very encouraging and thoughtful and I do appreciate it. I guess my ultimate concern is scar tissue. I have read stories suggesting that if you do not get your range of motion back relatively early in the recovery process scar tissue can form and it tends to be very difficult to break down and regain full range of motion. In other words, is there a time frame for getting back range of motion after which it becomes very difficult? Thoughts?

I have always been in tune with my body and it’s abilities and limits. Your comment that my swelling may be my body slowing me down is not unreasonable. I’m not interested in punishing myself for no reason. If however, there is a limited window for each of us to regain motion then I would be inclined to push my limits a bit.


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Replies to "Much like The first reply to my post yours is very encouraging and thoughtful and I..."

Gordy - The formation of scar tissue can be a problem, and like everything else in surgery, it is very individual. As is when it is time to push limits and when to listen to your body. Perhaps it is time for a talk with your surgeon about your concerns?

You mentioned lack of specialized equipment at home - your PT can work with you on using common items in your home to substitute. After one knee repair surgery, I was taught to use a webbing strap around my ankle to gently pull my knee into a deeper bend. All I remember of the exercise after 25 years it how much it hurt - but it worked. (Just one of many tricks learned over the years.)

Also Chris (@artscaping) has talked a lot here about MFR (myofascial release) therapy, which keeps the fascia loose. I believe that process, with massage will help as far as preventing scar tissue formation. Also, lymphatic drainage massage, which can be done by you at home, can help move the fluid to reduce swelling. A good PT or massage therapist can show you how to use it in your specific case.

Those are my thoughts for the day - anything give you ideas?
Hang in there - this is a road race, not a sprint.

Gordy I will share my experience with swelling. Be patient.
While essentially pain free and mobile at 4 weeks I still had A lot of swelling despite regular icing and elevating. My flexibility was only 65 deg despite regular PT.
At that point my surgeon prescribed a course of prednisone and it made all the difference - dramatically reduced the swelling.
Over the next 4 weeks I gained an additional 50 - 55 deg of ROM. I think stretching with heat followed by MFR was the most helpful.
Now 5 months out and enjoying my new knee while gradually increasing endurance.