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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Happy new year all …. Well I have had a set back have not been able to go to pt or mfr massage for 3 weeks …..we had covid in our house i thank god light cases by all …. Weird my daughter had over month ago no one else got it …. My grandson brings home from school the rest of us got it this time ….. no rhyme or reason to it. I have been taking steroids for the headaches but making my knee so tight ….I have been keeping up with exercises at home and doing massage also icing but not much help…. Just hopefully when steroids out of my system won’t be as painful….I go back to pt and mfr this week looking forward to it…..it is strange I took Med-dose pack first it took swelling down and pain away ….but than they gave me prednisone that helped my headache but that caused all the pain and stiffness swelling…I did read steroids can make swelling and pain come back even worse than before….has anyone ever experienced taking steroids this happening if so can you tell me how long it will last ..,,

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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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Thanks for sharing and your encouragement. What is the MFR technique?

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Hi all I had a right knee total replacement this past Dec 2nd, 2021, it is now Jan 29th and the past two weeks I have had a lot of issues with burning sensations around my knee on the sides I called my surgeons off and was told this is normal unless it is constant to take Tylenol has anyone else experienced this burning and if so what has worked for you to stop or control it. This is an awful feeling thank you any help is appreciated

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@ellie125

Hi all I had a right knee total replacement this past Dec 2nd, 2021, it is now Jan 29th and the past two weeks I have had a lot of issues with burning sensations around my knee on the sides I called my surgeons off and was told this is normal unless it is constant to take Tylenol has anyone else experienced this burning and if so what has worked for you to stop or control it. This is an awful feeling thank you any help is appreciated

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I had my first tkr done on 4/1/21 to my right knee my second one on 11/10/21 to my left knee and I still get burning sometimes in both. I have mentioned it to my surgeon, his PA and my PT and they all have said it can take up to a year to 18 months for pain to go away. I do notice that the burning is more prevalent after overdoing it in my exercises or activities or conversely if I haven’t done any exercises for two or more days.

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@ellie125

Hi all I had a right knee total replacement this past Dec 2nd, 2021, it is now Jan 29th and the past two weeks I have had a lot of issues with burning sensations around my knee on the sides I called my surgeons off and was told this is normal unless it is constant to take Tylenol has anyone else experienced this burning and if so what has worked for you to stop or control it. This is an awful feeling thank you any help is appreciated

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It is quite possible this pain is from the nerves healing and regenerating, especially if it seems to "move around" from day to day.
Nerves heal very slowly. When I had MCL/ACL surgery after a traumatic injury, it took over a year for all the feelings to go away.
Sue

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@dismaydee

Thanks for sharing and your encouragement. What is the MFR technique?

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Mayofacial release it helps break up scar tissue…..this has help me so much in my recovery

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My husband is having the same problem. He had a TKR on Nov.29th only to have scar tissue turn into cement. After a long painful wait & seeing what happens, the doctor finally decided to do a manipulation under anesthesia on Jan. 18th. Although there has been a tiny bit of improvement with bending the knee with physical therapy & using a CPM machine 4 hours a day, the knee continues to stiffen up in between the CPM sessions. He is in constant pain which has not improved since the original surgery in November. The pain meds barely give him any relief. The pain and stiffness get worse at night, therefore he is getting little sleep as he has to constantly massage the knee along with icing or heat to try to get some relief. This whole ordeal has caused him great stress, depression, and frustration as there seems to be no answers or solutions to fix the problem. The doctors keep telling him it's part of the process and that his body keeps fighting him and is being stubborn…Wow! not a lot of consolation when you are going through a living hell every day. He was told that a second manipulation can be done or after a year they can go into the knee and cut the scar tissue but they prefer not to do that. I truly hope that you have better luck than what we are having as it truly has been and continues to be a living daily nightmare.

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@ellie125

Hi all I had a right knee total replacement this past Dec 2nd, 2021, it is now Jan 29th and the past two weeks I have had a lot of issues with burning sensations around my knee on the sides I called my surgeons off and was told this is normal unless it is constant to take Tylenol has anyone else experienced this burning and if so what has worked for you to stop or control it. This is an awful feeling thank you any help is appreciated

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My husband had a TKR in November & manipulation in January. He also has burning nerve pain which has been told that is normal as nerve tissue is rejuvenating itself. Pain meds have not helped, sometimes a heating pad has helped, but Ice is probably best along with a lot of massage. He has been told by the doctors this is part of the healing process unfortunately & its to be expected.

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It is like all these things are dismissed as 'expected' rather than brutally hard to cope with. And the implication that was is expected – no matter how gruesome – is acceptable because it is possible. Why not do some research on these sufferers?

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My initial replacement was done March 2018 and it was painful from Day 1. It took 17 doctors, almost 5 years and 4 additional surgeries to get to the bottom of the situation. I had an unknown allergy to the metal in the initial replacement (along with a foot broken in that surgery) that caused pain that was so “unusual” for the doctors, it was more often dismissed than addressed. I am currently 6 weeks into a total revision, which is painful – but mostly because of the additional bone trauma from the revision and soft tissue trauma from the metal allergy. It’s specific and palatable. Get as specific as you can with your pain and if the doctor won’t listen – leave him / her. You live in your body. Not them and you HAVE to be your own advocate.

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@erikas

@kfc1390 Welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect, a place to give and get support. You are asking if, "everyone get[s] scar tissue after," total knee replacement (TKR)?

You will see that I have moved your question into a discussion where members are currently discussing total knee replacements as it relates to scar tissue. I did this so you could more quickly connect and get support. You will notice members @rknee @rayreich3 @contentandwell @mwatts91757 have experience with this topic and may be a good resource for you. I also encourage you to scroll back through the comments to find previously shared suggestions.

May I ask if you have already had TKR or if you have an upcoming surgery?

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Yes nine months ago had a manipulation but still bad stiff hardly walk pain frustration.

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