scar tissue after knee replacement

Posted by leithlane @leithlane, Jan 31, 2017

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?

Hi, I had TKR 2years ago. Since then 2 clean ups of scar tissue and then had to get my bleeder closed up. I am still suffering from pain,swelling, stiffness and hot to the touch…again. Needless to say I am getting frustrated.
Anyone else in similar situations, any suggestions?
Thank you.

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@trecie68

Hi, I had TKR 2years ago. Since then 2 clean ups of scar tissue and then had to get my bleeder closed up. I am still suffering from pain,swelling, stiffness and hot to the touch…again. Needless to say I am getting frustrated.
Anyone else in similar situations, any suggestions?
Thank you.

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Hello @trecie68, and welcome to Connect. You may notice that I moved your discussion and combined it with an existing discussion titled, "Scar tissue after knee replacement." I moved your discussion here so you could meet the many members discussing knee replacements and the issues that arose after the surgery and how some of the other members are coping with it. If you are replying by email, I suggest clicking on VIEW & REPLY so that you will be brought to the new discussion and can read through the previous posts from members. Feel free to jump in where you can.

@trecie68, I also had issues with scar tissue. I had to have two manipulations after my initial replacement surgery. It took me close to two years to find my new normal which ended up being 0-110 ROM and to become nearly pain free. It can get better and we all heal at different rates. The hot to touch could be a sign you may want to get it looked at. Have you discussed this with your medical provider?

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@amberpep

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.
abby

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I am curious what brand knee you had the first time and if the revision was done using the same knee or different one. I am 13 months out with my Smith & Nephew knee and my range of motion has gone down to under 110. At 3 months I had 120. Saw surgeon the other day, he claims I'm fine, but didn't offer to do a MRI to check for scar tissue. Suggests I just walk and bike and go about life and lower my expectations. Hmmmm….. Not sure how to handle that. Any advise?

Liked by scartissue

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@amberpep

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.
abby

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Sounds like you had luck with stem cell therapy. Can you tell me more about that? Painful procedure? How many procedures? I don't believe insurance covers it. What cost is incurred?

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@amberpep

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.
abby

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my stem cell procedure for the knee was $7000, and for the back was $1000. I have had a follow up procedure to keep the arthritis at bay for the knee. No pain and had a cane to get home the first day and after that, watched TV and read for the first 2 weeks . That was it. The back was easier. Told not to mow the lawn or ride a bike. No pain. Do my stretching every day. Sure beats surgery.
Problem i see is a lot of unqualified people trying to do it wth no training. Its like the wild west out there. Do your homework.

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@JustinMcClanahan

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?

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I had a TKR in January and am having a very difficult recover. Lots of scar tissue. Limited bend. Very frustrated. But to your question about pain behind the knee -yes I do have that off and on especially when I try to turn the wheel on my upright bicycle for a period of time. And my discomfort is on the outside of the knee as well. Crazy tightness in the knee – yes. My orthopedic surgeon is stymied and having me get an MRI on my back to see if there is a correlation. No answers here yet but I am keeping up with exercise hoping for a miracle.

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After partial knee replacement I have do e home therapy , camp machine , physical therapy 3 times a week but movement is very limited doctor says it is scar tissue and wants to do knee manipulation will this help

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@kneeproblem

After partial knee replacement I have do e home therapy , camp machine , physical therapy 3 times a week but movement is very limited doctor says it is scar tissue and wants to do knee manipulation will this help

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Hello @kneeproblem, welcome to Connect. You may notice that I moved your discussion and combined it with a discussion titled, "Scar tissue after knee replacement." I did this so you could meet the many members already discussing scar tissue after knee replacements and how they have coped with and rehabbed it.

@kneeproblem, I had my right knee replaced in 2006 and had issues with aggressive scar tissue formation as well. I ended up having two different knee manipulations to break the scar tissue loose. It was a long, hard road for me, but ultimately I did end up having 0-105 degree range-of-motion. The manipulations were tough, but I do believe in the end they helped me get over the hump.

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After TKR I did all the pt including water therapy. My knee swelled when exercising in water. I reached 121 but very painful. Now 5 years laterknee still swollen so I ignore it and continue to do my daily biking, golf , gardening. Will never do another TKR if I can help it. That is why I paid the extra cost for stem cells.

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Well I had Stem Cells and PRP in March. Now must face knee surgery – not scared of it – Just the After surgery, no v-ball for 3 months, cannot go in ocean for 6 weeks after.
With Cells and PRP do feel move comfort and balance and body seems more like itself pre 2015. But will now see 2 surgeons and see what they say?
I'll say it again, if u r contemplating Stem cells just try PRP alone First. $500. Used to b free w medicare = now $500!

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What is prp?

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Platelet rich plasma. I was all ready to do it until my doctor saw my x-rays. It’s supposed to help build cartilage. My insurance didn’t cover it.

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@trecie68

Hi, I had TKR 2years ago. Since then 2 clean ups of scar tissue and then had to get my bleeder closed up. I am still suffering from pain,swelling, stiffness and hot to the touch…again. Needless to say I am getting frustrated.
Anyone else in similar situations, any suggestions?
Thank you.

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Thank you, @JustinMcClanahan , I have had a cortisone shot since and going for possibly another tomorrow, possible 3rd clean out is in the near future. I am unfortunately prone to scar tissue.

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@rmeddings

I’m afraid a second opinion will only lead to the same results for me also. As my joints look perfect on X-ray. I suppose I just keep hanging on to the hope that there is someone out there that will have the knowledge to help me. As I sit and write this at 4:00 am , I wonder if my Dr’s even have any idea, or really believe what an ordeal this has been , or what it’s like to go to bed each night, and wake each morning, with the same old pain !!
I really hate that anyone else is going thru this, but at he same time, it strengths me know that there is someone else in the world that does understand my pain.. I have the gabapentin route, I was on Percocet for nine months ( as you say it only dulls the pain) I have tried nerve blocks,also. All to to avail..
I’m still holding on to the hope that someday this nightmare will end for me, and all of you ,who are going thru this.

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I am eight months post-TKR. Scar tissue prevents movement more than 95 degrees. I can do aggressive exercise and get it to 112 but that only lasts for minutes. Swelling and scar tissue have been a problem since day one. I am going in for genicular block on Monday. Coincidentally, my sister in law had this procedure done last week and she claims it took her pain away (she has been in a wheelchair most of the time). CBD oil and Voltaren gel both seem to help the pain.

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@rmeddings

I’m afraid a second opinion will only lead to the same results for me also. As my joints look perfect on X-ray. I suppose I just keep hanging on to the hope that there is someone out there that will have the knowledge to help me. As I sit and write this at 4:00 am , I wonder if my Dr’s even have any idea, or really believe what an ordeal this has been , or what it’s like to go to bed each night, and wake each morning, with the same old pain !!
I really hate that anyone else is going thru this, but at he same time, it strengths me know that there is someone else in the world that does understand my pain.. I have the gabapentin route, I was on Percocet for nine months ( as you say it only dulls the pain) I have tried nerve blocks,also. All to to avail..
I’m still holding on to the hope that someday this nightmare will end for me, and all of you ,who are going thru this.

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I read your comment with interest. Both of my knees are bad and I am afraid of the TKR. I hope to qualify for the stem cell procedure. Right now I have full movement of both knees, but of course stairs and walking are painful. I would like to know more about your sisters recovery. Thank you

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