Scar tissue after knee replacement
I had knee replacement surgery 6 weeks ago . Through PT I have been working on breaking up the scar tissue only for it to regrow by the time I get back to PT two days later. I have been massaging at home, using a hand held massager and roller. It is painful and swollen. I am getting very disheartened. Any suggestions as to what else I can do. Has anyone had laser treatments to break up scar tissue? Were they effective?
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Hello @leithlane, welcome to Connect.
This is an experience very close to my own. I had my right knee replaced in 2006. I also had aggressive scar tissue immediately after my knee replacement. Ultimately, I had to have two post-surgery knee manipulations where they put me back under and broke the scar tissue up by bending my knee manually. Even after those two manipulations I still had issues with scar tissue. It took almost a full year and a half until I ended up breaking the scar tissue loose on my own when I jumped and landed awkwardly. Although it may be frustrating, sticking with your PT is a must.
I would like to invite @mnpat, @basa, @winning, @joanney, @emme, @kerri123, @gailfaith, @cautiousoptimism, @cheris, @ronnie3716, and @amberpep, to this discussion as they have all had knee replacements and may be able to provide some thoughts on their experiences with scar tissue after surgery.
@leithlane, have you heard of or tried a brace with hand cranks on it that you use to help with straightening and bending your knee? What does your therapist/surgeon say about your scar tissue problems?
Hi there …. yes, I’ve had scar tissue develop also. It developed slowly over time, but by the time I hit the 1 year mark, my surgeon went in – arthroscopically – and cleaned it up. But, it never was right, and in another year I had to have a revision – a totally new replacement. Since then, my knee could not be any better. I don’t know why this happens to some and not to others … but after several other options had been tried, including the arthroscopic surgery, I opted to just do the revision …. I’m glad I did.
i should not laugh but when i went through physical therapy we were near a doctors office. The screams brought the nurses running down the hall. They came from me as i was breaking the scar tissue. I still do not have the flexibility i ad before replacement but it will have to do. I do now people that have had to have surgery to break the scar tissue. I was told how wonderful it would be to have a knee replacement and to be able to play tennis again etc. Golf is my sport of choice now.
The knee brace i have for the left knee that i purchased for stem cells has the have the hand cranks. Love the brace. Wear it when i golf, biking and gardening. Would recommend it to anyone as it has great support. Its not like like that are advertised or what you see young people wearing in sports.
I do have a friend who will be undergoing scar tissue surgery. I knew he would hve to have it done as he did nothing at home. Another friend did nothing, had her surgery for scar tissue , had second knee done and learned her lesson and did the therapy at home. Hard work, painful, but as they say, growing old ain’t for sissies.
Hi I had total knee replacement 10 months ago. Lots of swelling. Went to PT had deep tissue massage. VERY painful I felt like I had a very tight band around my knee making it hard to move.. I used a recumbent cross trainer which helped a lot. Getting into the pool and walking had an immediate effect on bringing down the swelling. After 3 months I did fairly well. I was bothered for a long time with sciatic pain making it hard to sit and ride in a car. I had second knee replaced 8 weeks ago. Almost no swelling very good range of motion right after the operation. Doing exercises twice a day and icing 3 time a day. This time around so much better. Some stiffness in knee but nothing compared to last time. My only problem is the hip/butt pain is back but not as bad. Has anyone else had this problem???
I had my first knee replacement at the age of 47 years in 2001. I was plagued by spasms on the outer aspect of my calf caused by scar tissue. After a closed manipulation and traditional PT I got relief with acupuncture and osteopathic manipulation. I know many physical therapists practice under the theory that you have to push through the pain, but when you are a prolific scar tissue creator, I feel a more gradual, alternative approach is better.
I agree with you lamerex ….. I was told to push “up to the pain” but not “through it.”
Hello @leithlane, we were just wondering how you are doing with your scar tissue after your knee replacement?
@amberpep, @lamerex4, and @cheris all shared their own experiences with scar tissue. Do you care to share with the group the progress you have made in the last two weeks, or new bumps in the road you have experienced?
gaIlfaith here responding: Yes I had both knees replaced in 2004 and 2006 but I did not have ANY problems with the recovery. After my first, before I left the hospital I was on the passive bending machine but off hand I don’t remember how much bend I got but by the time I left there, but it was above 90 degrees. At the nursing home, the doctor there didn’t know what she was doing !!! and she got very upset with me if I turned the machine there to anything over 90 degrees. When I got home, I lowered the seat on my stationary bike and stretched it more that way. I eventually end up with 124 degrees and my current therapist (for my monotonic dystrophy) measured it recently and now I have even more, something near 129. After my second one, I left the hospital with 123 and when I got to a DIFFERENT nursing home, they said I didn’t need the machine with that much bend already , and by the time I left there I had 132 with just PT. Now I have even more like maybe 135. I don’t think even before the surgery that it was much if anything above that naturally! Sorry to make you all jealous but should I have to get revisions on either knee in the future, I will be apprehensive that I might have problems in the future. The surgeon I had for both just had surgery on one of HIS knees (not TKR) and on the internet they showed his surgery. Not many people get to the see the inside of their surgeon’s knee! My visit last summer to the surgeon, the X-rays showed no wear at that time! I will be 81 next month and hopefully the original TKR’s will last me for the rest of my life, but as I have mentioned previously, right now I am doing a lot of walking for the Dystrophy . I am now up to 45 miles since Aug 13, ’06 (that only includes measured walks, not day to day walking where-ever). And yes, I am thanking the Lord for that!
i’m jealous. Reached 123 and that was it. I was in great shape when i had the surgery, Had a tough time. Now with the stem cells i have my original knee. To each his own. The doctors tell me that some do well and some do not. No reasons for it in most cases. w
I just saw your posts on Mayo Clinic Connect. I am 5 wks posts TKR surgery and my surgeon prescribed Lyrica for my continued nerve pain. I am also experiencing sciatica, which stretching exercises and NSAIDs have not helped. My ROM for flexion is at 95, but my extension is at 8 degrees. Is any of this very common among TKR recipients? Thank you.