Has anyone had a tight band feeling after total knee replacement?

Posted by mhort1213 @mhort1213, Feb 28, 2019

I am 8 weeks post TKR and have had this very tight band around my knee since week one. My Dr at 6 wks says it is normal and will go away. Has anyone else had this and did it go away and when?

Liked by ssbionicknee

I had same and it seems it is excess scar tissue I had it removed Through arthroscopic surgeryand it grew back and now it feels even worse because the pain is now become a problem of hamstring which compensated for the lack of motion it’s a mess still working on it work in progress

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@scgraham

Hi @slmichie1969 i am so sad that you have experienced this weird tight band feeling for 7 years in both knees. I have had it for over 2 and tried nearly everything you have to no avail. On my one year check up, my OD told me I would just have to live with this, and that he did not know what caused it. I have good ROM and my knee serves me well. You can read my prior posts.

I came to this site looking for answers, but found a very few other sufferers who have had this side effect (longer than a few months post surgery) with no answers and no relief too. You have dealt with this longer than any of the past posters on this queston.

Trying to get my head to accept and to adjust to this seemingly permanent side effect appears to be my biggest challenge. I dont take anything stronger than a tylenol, so trying to rise above chronic pain is a challenge. Staying busy helps me. I check this site from time to time for a miracle cure. If i stumble across something that helps me, will share it with you all.

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The tightness hasn't kept me from doing anything. Last year when we went to Israel and went to Petra one day I had 24,000 steps by the end of the day. I just don't like it not feeling normal. No pain like I said but it feels like the skin is kind of stuck. I'm going to keep up the cupping on myself and try to do it twice a day.

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@slmichie1969

The tightness hasn't kept me from doing anything. Last year when we went to Israel and went to Petra one day I had 24,000 steps by the end of the day. I just don't like it not feeling normal. No pain like I said but it feels like the skin is kind of stuck. I'm going to keep up the cupping on myself and try to do it twice a day.

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@slmichie1969 it is the same for me. Great ROM and I can walk all I want. The longer I stand or walk, the more intense the tight feeling. It just doesn’t feel normal and that can be very distracting and annoying.

The more I read on this site, it is apparent that complications from major surgeries can be quite varied and some very serious. I guess this particular thing we have is not serious as we have a knee that works well. It has just taken me awhile to come to terms with it. Please keep us informed about the cupping. I sure hope you have good results.

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Hello. I had a total left knee replacement May 2018. I had a very profound tight band feeling for a long time which would fluctuate in intensity from day to day and caused difficulty with PT. Big improvement after 4 or 5 months but reoccurred very badly at 8th month while on trip to Europe. Increased mobic dose during the 10 days of trip and pushed through it and the tightness/pain was gone after increasing the anti-inflammatory. By the time I returned from trip the tightness and pain was gone—almost seemed like I had to break the inflammatory cycle and keep MOVING. My surgeon said that complete healing takes 1 full year and 13 months out the knee is perfect and playing golf etc. Keep the faith.

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I had a right total knee replacement two years ago and had this surgery due to severe pain. My surgeon thought I was a good candidate as I am younger (50) and very active. The surgery went well and the mechanics of the prosthesis are good. Therapy was rough and continued with severe pain long past the normal. I continue to have the rubber band sensation (as others have described) for two years now and currently on Lyria (like Gabapentin) for a month trial to see if I get any relief. I also had a steroid injection in the outside part of the knee. I have done everything possible including dry needling and nerve ablation (both made no difference). My surgeon thinks that my joint has some hypermobility issues causing the irritation on the outside of the knee to the iliotibial band. He is recommending a replacement of the tibial part (the lower bone) with a thicker component, which making the joint less mobile. I would lose some motion but I have around 120 degrees of bend. Has anyone heard of this as a option? The thought of doing another knee replacement (even if a partial) is overwhelming to me.

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@slmichie1969

The tightness hasn't kept me from doing anything. Last year when we went to Israel and went to Petra one day I had 24,000 steps by the end of the day. I just don't like it not feeling normal. No pain like I said but it feels like the skin is kind of stuck. I'm going to keep up the cupping on myself and try to do it twice a day.

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I'd like to hear more on the cupping and if it has helped you.

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@dixiedog

I had a right total knee replacement two years ago and had this surgery due to severe pain. My surgeon thought I was a good candidate as I am younger (50) and very active. The surgery went well and the mechanics of the prosthesis are good. Therapy was rough and continued with severe pain long past the normal. I continue to have the rubber band sensation (as others have described) for two years now and currently on Lyria (like Gabapentin) for a month trial to see if I get any relief. I also had a steroid injection in the outside part of the knee. I have done everything possible including dry needling and nerve ablation (both made no difference). My surgeon thinks that my joint has some hypermobility issues causing the irritation on the outside of the knee to the iliotibial band. He is recommending a replacement of the tibial part (the lower bone) with a thicker component, which making the joint less mobile. I would lose some motion but I have around 120 degrees of bend. Has anyone heard of this as a option? The thought of doing another knee replacement (even if a partial) is overwhelming to me.

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I have total knee replacement 8 months ago and have constant tight band around knee. Pain worse than prior to surgery. Pain intensifies after any activity and while sleeping. I’m told to wait till a year has passed. But there has been no improvement (&actually only worsening) for 8 months despite all the PT and exercises. I would think there would be some slight gradual improvement. Very disappointed. Wish I never had the surgery.

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@danielcwest

I have total knee replacement 8 months ago and have constant tight band around knee. Pain worse than prior to surgery. Pain intensifies after any activity and while sleeping. I’m told to wait till a year has passed. But there has been no improvement (&actually only worsening) for 8 months despite all the PT and exercises. I would think there would be some slight gradual improvement. Very disappointed. Wish I never had the surgery.

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This may be scar tissue which I have had for 2 1/2 years you have to go back to the doctor and make sure the knee replacement is correct or as in my case I producing an abundance amount of scar tissue some of which was removed arthroscopically but still he came back and I wish I never had the surgery either

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@rayreich3

This may be scar tissue which I have had for 2 1/2 years you have to go back to the doctor and make sure the knee replacement is correct or as in my case I producing an abundance amount of scar tissue some of which was removed arthroscopically but still he came back and I wish I never had the surgery either

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I have been back to my surgeon and to two others for opinions. They all say “it looks perfect”. Well it doesn’t feel perfect and it hurt more now than it did a few months after surgery. “Something” is wrong and no one seems to give a crap.

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@danielcwest

I have total knee replacement 8 months ago and have constant tight band around knee. Pain worse than prior to surgery. Pain intensifies after any activity and while sleeping. I’m told to wait till a year has passed. But there has been no improvement (&actually only worsening) for 8 months despite all the PT and exercises. I would think there would be some slight gradual improvement. Very disappointed. Wish I never had the surgery.

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I hear you and said this very thing (about not having the surgery)- but what is done is done; for me, I was having a lot more difficulty with walking and was using a cane at points. I do wish that I would have tried stem cell but that isn't covered by insurance nor is it highly proven. What have you done to this point to address it? I have done everything possible and trying cupping now (see prior posts) and haven't done it consistently enough yet to comment. I will get back to the post in a about two weeks. I am considering a second opinion to have a fresh set of eyes to look at my knee and my options.

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@dixiedog

I hear you and said this very thing (about not having the surgery)- but what is done is done; for me, I was having a lot more difficulty with walking and was using a cane at points. I do wish that I would have tried stem cell but that isn't covered by insurance nor is it highly proven. What have you done to this point to address it? I have done everything possible and trying cupping now (see prior posts) and haven't done it consistently enough yet to comment. I will get back to the post in a about two weeks. I am considering a second opinion to have a fresh set of eyes to look at my knee and my options.

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Re dixie dog and dcwest 8 months is apparently not that unusual to have this. I was terrible at 8 months as per my earlier post. As I said, needed rx anti inflammatory meds for a while and they helped get me through it and keep moving which is so so important. Re dcwest with surgery from over 2 yrs ago, I feel so bad for you. Have you discussed the possibility of an allergy to the metal components of orthotic? I have severe nickel allergy and my local docs ignored my concerns. I went to a Dr. Westrich at hospital for special surgery in nyc and he used a ceramic replacement. The allergy issue is very controversial but cannot be discounted. Check out his website. The ceramic device I have is made from oxinium.

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I had TKR on Jan 25, 2018 and although I have good ROM, I also suffer with a tight band feeling around my lower knee and an area of pain on the outside of my knee. After 3 cortisone shots I'm now back in PT with Astym treatment. So far no further relief and told it's scar tissue. I'll give it a few more weeks of PT, but afraid I may just have to deal with the pain. Someone just told me about Prolotherapy. Has anyone done Prolotherapy for knee pain after TKR?

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@swp

I had TKR on Jan 25, 2018 and although I have good ROM, I also suffer with a tight band feeling around my lower knee and an area of pain on the outside of my knee. After 3 cortisone shots I'm now back in PT with Astym treatment. So far no further relief and told it's scar tissue. I'll give it a few more weeks of PT, but afraid I may just have to deal with the pain. Someone just told me about Prolotherapy. Has anyone done Prolotherapy for knee pain after TKR?

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I have considered trying Astym but my PT doesn’t feel it will work for several reasons, many as he doesn’t think scar tissue is the root cause of my pain. However, I have used it on my hip but minimal relief. My biggest issue with this that you can’t do on your own to carry over after therapy is done.
I read up on Prolotherapy and it’s an interesting theory (how it works) but the evidence to support it for optimal outcomes is very limited. When they mention the cost, upwards to $1000, I am assuming it’s per injection and several injections are suggested. I look forwards to hearing others experience with this.

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@ssbionicknee

Hi @mhort1213. I want to clarify what you mean by tight band. I had my TKR (right Knee) in May 2018, so I am 10 months out. Before surgery, my knee was extremely loose, moving all over the place, locking up, and causing me to fall. After surgery, my knee cap felt very tight. It did not move around at all. It felt like it had been cemented in place and was stuck in that spot. After a few months of therapy, it loosened up and began to move around like a normal knee cap. I am wondering if that is what you mean by having a tight band on your knee, because it did feel like that. In my case, I had fallen so much because of having 2 bad knees, that I felt safer when it was really tight. I became afraid of falling after it loosened up. My PT and surgeon, reassured me that it was normal and that my knee cap would hold steady and it has. I think what you are describing is normal. You have brand new hardware in your knee and it will loosen up. And then that will feel strange. But it will be much more stable. Good luck to you!

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Happy NEW DECADE to all! I had TKR on left in 2015. Perfect result – hardly any pain; works well. Had TKR on right knee 13 month ago. Hardly any pain, but more difficulty. I do have the "Tight Band" on top of knee (a little to right of center). Tightness has decreased 70% (?) over the year. However, THIS LEG HAS HAD NUMBNESS SINCE THE SURGERY and still does. Numbness around knee and calf has decreased (maybe 50%), but is still very present. I am concerned about circulation (I do have some circulation issues in both legs showing blue/purple veins especially in feet. When I use corrective stockings it improves for a while.) Two things: I can play a racquet sport with no problem. Climbing UPstairs is definitely a problem now – it is an effort and I have to rest at top (and, again, I can play Pickleball for 2 hours.) Going DOWNstairs I have to hold on, go slowly as my "rhythm" / or coordination is off. Possibly NERVE DAMAGE??? Surgeon has nothing to offer.

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@tennisgolf

Happy NEW DECADE to all! I had TKR on left in 2015. Perfect result – hardly any pain; works well. Had TKR on right knee 13 month ago. Hardly any pain, but more difficulty. I do have the "Tight Band" on top of knee (a little to right of center). Tightness has decreased 70% (?) over the year. However, THIS LEG HAS HAD NUMBNESS SINCE THE SURGERY and still does. Numbness around knee and calf has decreased (maybe 50%), but is still very present. I am concerned about circulation (I do have some circulation issues in both legs showing blue/purple veins especially in feet. When I use corrective stockings it improves for a while.) Two things: I can play a racquet sport with no problem. Climbing UPstairs is definitely a problem now – it is an effort and I have to rest at top (and, again, I can play Pickleball for 2 hours.) Going DOWNstairs I have to hold on, go slowly as my "rhythm" / or coordination is off. Possibly NERVE DAMAGE??? Surgeon has nothing to offer.

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My guest (as I am not a doctor) is that you do have nerve damage. Tightness and tinkling were symptoms I had. My surgeon certainly didn’t have any answers and referred me to a physiatrist. It was there that I got my diagnosis of nerve pain otherwise known as complex regional pain syndrome.

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