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?

@emyliander

I had a partial knee replacement 2-3 yrs ago, I do fine during the day, no pain, good range of motion. But when I go to bed it gets very painful on the inner side of my knee, very painful to turn over or get out of bed. After I am up I have no more trouble till I go to bed again. I was waking up due to the pain when I moved and started taking Tylenol PM, with that I am not waking during the night, but it is still painful moving it to get out of bed. Because I have moved out of State I am unable to return to my orthopedic surgeon.
I have never heard of this problem, my PCP did not have much advice to offer. I have tried wearing an elastic knee support to bed but find it uncomfortable when I bend my knee for any length of time, I have also tried rubbing Diclofenac Sodium Topical Gel on my knee before bedtime, does not seem to help.
I suppose if I have to live with it, it's better than having it hurt during the day. I would be interested to hear if anyone else has had this problem. I hope those who are having pain during the day time will be able to get some relief, it seems that there are as many different problems with a TKR as there are people having it done. My best to you all.

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Good evening my friend @emyliander. I am so sorry to read about this new situation. You have been through a lot and that is based upon what you have dealt with in the last year.

Believe it or not, I am dealing with the same issue. My first TKR was done 10 years ago and has been pretty close to perfect. Now, I too am dealing with the "other" knee. It is a mess according to my orthopedic team. So, because I want to see my grandchildren in Texas before surgery, they tried to make it possible to sneak in a trip to Galveston and a double birthday celebration at the beach. Jay Paul will be 4 and Amelia Marie will be 2. I am thrilled that they have made it possible for me to spend time with them before facing another TKR.

How are you and your family? Are you settled in your new home? I hope there is harmony in your house and please know that you are very frequently in my thoughts.

Be safe and protected from inner and outer harm.
Chris

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@buickturboman

It has been 1 1/2 years since my TKR. Prior to surgery i could do everything just arthritis pain. After surgery and PT. My knees are horrible. Top doctors did my knees. Xrays look great, scar tissue seems to be the culprit. MUA on one knee to 120 degrees, but neither one can go past 80-85 degreed and my life is really crappy, rely on lift chair, knees get tight and hurtful. One of my Dr said i need to live with it, scar tissue grows back if you have surgery, other Dr said he dosent want to make my situation worse, surgery is trauma to the knee, use cbd and do my best. I dont want to stay like this. Ive heard of the Iovera treatment yo temp deaden nerves but would prefer a real fix, but dosent seem to be one.

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Hello, buickturboman,
My left TKR was done June, 2019. I unfortunately had a blood clot, hematoma, and foot drop from the operation trauma along with severe swelling Hospital and nursing homes for 4 months. I also got a n infection 2 months after surgery . You mentioned Iovera and you are the first person I have heard mention it. None of my very experienced doctors have heard of the procedure except the initial surgeon and his helper who highly recommended it. ( I switched docs due to all the difficulties and lack of trust)
Two years out now I still can’t feel most of my calf ankle and especially my toes. PT has helped a great deal especially with the foot drop. My ROM seems good, maybe 120, but I am disappointed b/c of the constant numbness and nerve firings. I can’t for sure say Iovera was to blame for all this, but I would avoid this treatment if I were you.
ANYONE ELSE ON HERE HAVE EXPERIENCE WITH IOVERA??

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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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When you say revision do you mean a new replacement?

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I’m coming up on 2 years and so much scar tissue has developed (IMO). I limp and cannot walk comfortably at the beach and have been in and out of PT this entire time. How do I go about finding a surgeon? I have lost faith in my surgeon who has dismissed the problem as a PT issue. “It’s their job to get you moving”. That’s in the past. I want to “move” forward. Any ideas?

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@pahanselman

I’m coming up on 2 years and so much scar tissue has developed (IMO). I limp and cannot walk comfortably at the beach and have been in and out of PT this entire time. How do I go about finding a surgeon? I have lost faith in my surgeon who has dismissed the problem as a PT issue. “It’s their job to get you moving”. That’s in the past. I want to “move” forward. Any ideas?

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Hi @pahanselman and welcome to Connect. I am sorry that you are having trouble walking comfortably. You will see that I moved your post to a longstanding discussion about scar tissue after knee replacement. I wanted to give you an opportunity to connect with other members that have dealt with knee replacements like @artscaping, @amberpep and @tacaropat

You can go to the Mayo Website and search doctors if you are looking for Mayo's help. https://www.mayoclinic.org/appointments/find-a-doctor

Have you done PT in the past?

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Yes did PT immediately after mako-replacement (robotic assistant) for 6weeks and again at year and 3 months after original replacement, I gained a little more movement-bend, but still have pain. Even at night. No one has suggested a 2nd replacement or a version. Afraid if I do it I’ll have same issues. It still feels
Ike a band around my knee, numbness, heavy and Bad balance. I’m in Md. and winter in Naples, Fl. Any suggestions?!

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I am 10 weeks post op from TKR and about 2 weeks ago my scar tissue developed a hard knot which I assumed was just scar tissue but it has not gone down and now hurts underneath especially when I bend my knee. I went to the surgeon and he said there is no infection and is probably from the suture dissolving. It does not feel like fluid – feels very hard. Anyone else have this and if so, did it go away?? I keep massaging as if it is just scar tissue but it has not helped. My husband says it looks like an alien is about to pop out! Very ugly too. It has gotten larger these last few days – assuming massaging it is ok too? Any help is appreciated.
Pics attached are from 7/11/21.
Thanks!
Kathy

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@kaky1450

I am 10 weeks post op from TKR and about 2 weeks ago my scar tissue developed a hard knot which I assumed was just scar tissue but it has not gone down and now hurts underneath especially when I bend my knee. I went to the surgeon and he said there is no infection and is probably from the suture dissolving. It does not feel like fluid – feels very hard. Anyone else have this and if so, did it go away?? I keep massaging as if it is just scar tissue but it has not helped. My husband says it looks like an alien is about to pop out! Very ugly too. It has gotten larger these last few days – assuming massaging it is ok too? Any help is appreciated.
Pics attached are from 7/11/21.
Thanks!
Kathy

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Hi @kaky1450 you will see that I moved your post so you could connect with other members who have been experiencing scar tissue after knee replacement.
Your photos looks quite painful!
What has your surgeon said about this?

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@amandaburnett

Hi @kaky1450 you will see that I moved your post so you could connect with other members who have been experiencing scar tissue after knee replacement.
Your photos looks quite painful!
What has your surgeon said about this?

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Thanks. The surgeon thinks maybe it is a dissolving suture. Not sure what that means.
Thanks.

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@kaky1450

Thanks. The surgeon thinks maybe it is a dissolving suture. Not sure what that means.
Thanks.

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Sometimes a suture resists dissolving, and forms a cyst – it may eventually dissolve, but a couple times l had to have a small incision made and get it removed.
Have you noticed any softening or redness/tenderness?
Sue

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@sueinmn

Sometimes a suture resists dissolving, and forms a cyst – it may eventually dissolve, but a couple times l had to have a small incision made and get it removed.
Have you noticed any softening or redness/tenderness?
Sue

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Thanks Sue
I don’t see any redness right now – although sometimes it is warm with some slight redness in the area – but the redness goes away and the heat remains.
It is sore and tender around and under it but the actual knot/cyst is hard as a rock. I go back for a post op on 8/24 so hoping it will be gone by then but it just seems to be getting bigger and more protruding.
I was rubbing it thinking it was scar tissue but now not sure whether to leave it alone or use ice or heat or keep massaging. Any thoughts?
Thanks again.
Kathy

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@kaky1450

I am 10 weeks post op from TKR and about 2 weeks ago my scar tissue developed a hard knot which I assumed was just scar tissue but it has not gone down and now hurts underneath especially when I bend my knee. I went to the surgeon and he said there is no infection and is probably from the suture dissolving. It does not feel like fluid – feels very hard. Anyone else have this and if so, did it go away?? I keep massaging as if it is just scar tissue but it has not helped. My husband says it looks like an alien is about to pop out! Very ugly too. It has gotten larger these last few days – assuming massaging it is ok too? Any help is appreciated.
Pics attached are from 7/11/21.
Thanks!
Kathy

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