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?

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@kaky1450

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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Hi Kathy – that seems like a long time – I would at least call the doctor's office and describe what you are seeing/feeling – especially the warmth and increasing size. As my daughters, both RN's would say, "They took my x-ray vision away, so I don't know what it is." Our family standard for these things is 7 days and no improvement (or getting worse) seek medical advice.
Sue

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@sueinmn

Hi Kathy – that seems like a long time – I would at least call the doctor's office and describe what you are seeing/feeling – especially the warmth and increasing size. As my daughters, both RN's would say, "They took my x-ray vision away, so I don't know what it is." Our family standard for these things is 7 days and no improvement (or getting worse) seek medical advice.
Sue

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Thanks. It has been 6 days since the surgeon saw it so I’ll give it a few more days and then call if no improvement. I appreciate the advice.
Kathy

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I would not wait until 8/24 to see Doc. I had similar problem and had to go back in for a manipulation due to scar tissue

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@texaslady

I would not wait until 8/24 to see Doc. I had similar problem and had to go back in for a manipulation due to scar tissue

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Thanks. I have no issue with range of motion. It is mainly very tender/sore and ugly (protruding). The “knot” appears to be under the skin as when I move the skin, the knot stays put and it is very hard.
I contacted my surgeon and if no better by the first of August, I will go in again. Thanks!

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@kaky1450

Thanks. I have no issue with range of motion. It is mainly very tender/sore and ugly (protruding). The “knot” appears to be under the skin as when I move the skin, the knot stays put and it is very hard.
I contacted my surgeon and if no better by the first of August, I will go in again. Thanks!

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I had surgery on the back of my knee six weeks ago. (Not a replacement)
I had a lump the size of a golf ball at the incision site, hard and not movable. Doctor did a needle aspiration and removed a blood clot and quite a bit of fluid.
I’m a massage therapist and work on scar tissue. If there’s pain and swelling on board, I don’t work it until the tissue has calmed down. It’s never too late to work on scar tissue. Don’t rush it!

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Scar tissue after surgery is a normal process following surgery. It's important to allow the body time to heal and scar naturally since scars tighten up. In fact, most people who've had knee surgery notice that they have less pain in the weeks after the surgery because of this natural tightening response from their scar tissue.
However, it can be a little slower going in some cases where general anesthesia required for certain conditions results in more risk of delayed surgical recovery due to increased toxicity levels and increased risk for infection post-surgically. When recovering from surgery it is advisable not to do any deep jogging or jumping rope until at least six weeks post-surgery so as not to add too much pressure on parts of the body susceptible to injury following surgery.

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@tacaropat

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 also had mako TKR at Mercy Hospital in Baltimore, MD. It was 2 yrs. ago and I have a lot of tightness, heaviness and pain. Second opinion dr. wants to do another surgery which isn't going to happen! I have great ROM but have hyperextension which makes me feel like it will give out when walking. Let me know if you find an answer. I wish you luck.

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Looking forward here to visiting the clinic in March for additional review. 2nd knee has failed me. Gene S. Ret. FF.

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In my experience an excellent surgeon, a top notch physical therapist and very dedicated hard work is the key . I have had RTS, and TKR.. of course there can be other rare things to happen that need to be addressed. My military surgeon does X-rays post op every time I see him to check hardware. Still do dry needling for my RTS as I tend to overdue: my therapist is young but has lots certifications. These exercises are a lifetime commitment.

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I am 4 months post op and had MUA 6 weeks ago. Last achieved 110 degree flexion. Stiff very quickly even after Physio. Why?

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@dismaydee

I am 4 months post op and had MUA 6 weeks ago. Last achieved 110 degree flexion. Stiff very quickly even after Physio. Why?

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I had the same experience. Therapist says partially due to Some scar tissue and layers of fascia that “fuse” together. My therapist has utilized MFR techniques. Cupping, other suction type devices, and finally just digging in with “scraping” tools. I’m also utilizing my stationary bike 40 minutes per day along with my therapy homework. Keep at it, I’m 7 weeks MUA and just reaching 120 on my own. Still have stiff feeling but starting to break up. I finally feel like I’m turning the corner in a positive direction just this past week. Hang in there. The hard work will pay off.

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@montem

I had the same experience. Therapist says partially due to Some scar tissue and layers of fascia that “fuse” together. My therapist has utilized MFR techniques. Cupping, other suction type devices, and finally just digging in with “scraping” tools. I’m also utilizing my stationary bike 40 minutes per day along with my therapy homework. Keep at it, I’m 7 weeks MUA and just reaching 120 on my own. Still have stiff feeling but starting to break up. I finally feel like I’m turning the corner in a positive direction just this past week. Hang in there. The hard work will pay off.

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Good evening @montem, and I think it is time for Happy New Year. I want to congratulate you on doing the "hard work" after your surgery. You are so right…..the hard work will pay off. Yes, the scar tissue has layers of fascia that become restricted. MFR techniques….remove the restrictions. Keep up the good work and please post so that others can benefit from your experience. 120 is a good ROM and the stiffness will go away when you continue the exercises for post-surgery.

What is your next recovery goal?

May you be free of suffering and the causes of suffering.
Chris

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