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?

@babette

Hi everyone — I'm new here, so happy to have found this forum. I had a R TKR 4 1/2 weeks ago and feel very tight all across the top of my knee. Is this scar tissue? Does it ever resolve on its own or will I need to undergo a procedure like the ones I'm reading about here? Many thanks!

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It’s still super early and your recovery. How is your range of motion? I’m still making progress at eight months, particularly with the tightness in my knees. I am curious about the Lazer however to see if It can further help with scar tissue

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My rom is 0-96. My ortho wants to see it at about 130, I think.

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Hi just found this discussion and catching up with reading. I had left knee replaced on 21 June this year, i am hypermobile so have damaged both my knees. My surgeon stated that my knee joint was very small and he couldn’t use his jigsaw and had to free hand my replacement. He said it be ok! I had a small patch of numbness as predicted and ok. At 4 weeks post op the left side of my knee went totally numb with a raised swelling, i am now approaching 11 weeks post op and still this numbness and raises hard swollen hard on left side of scar. it stops me bending my knee l can only get to 77 and straight is 10-15. my surgeon sees me again on 10 oct and has said he will do a MUA if l don’t progress. I am struggling l cannot bend my knee it’s like a tight crushing band is around it when i try to bend, the professionals say it’s ok it’s fine but then tell me to push through the pain. I cannot bend my knee! the swelling lump of numb skin even dimples at the end of my scar, a dip big enough for my finger when i try to bend.
i was supposed to be back at work on 1 st october but that not happening now. i just feel hopeless i do physio every week and just feel like they are telling me off, they push down on my knee to straighten and it’s so painful i don’t know what to do!

Liked by ssbionicknee

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@bizzarebird1

Hi just found this discussion and catching up with reading. I had left knee replaced on 21 June this year, i am hypermobile so have damaged both my knees. My surgeon stated that my knee joint was very small and he couldn’t use his jigsaw and had to free hand my replacement. He said it be ok! I had a small patch of numbness as predicted and ok. At 4 weeks post op the left side of my knee went totally numb with a raised swelling, i am now approaching 11 weeks post op and still this numbness and raises hard swollen hard on left side of scar. it stops me bending my knee l can only get to 77 and straight is 10-15. my surgeon sees me again on 10 oct and has said he will do a MUA if l don’t progress. I am struggling l cannot bend my knee it’s like a tight crushing band is around it when i try to bend, the professionals say it’s ok it’s fine but then tell me to push through the pain. I cannot bend my knee! the swelling lump of numb skin even dimples at the end of my scar, a dip big enough for my finger when i try to bend.
i was supposed to be back at work on 1 st october but that not happening now. i just feel hopeless i do physio every week and just feel like they are telling me off, they push down on my knee to straighten and it’s so painful i don’t know what to do!

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I am sorry for your problems and I cannot give you that much hope, since my knee is now 2 years old and is still giving me pain. I still have the tight feeling, but that has become better. But I have scar tissue and nobody knows really, how to get rid if it. And I have pain in my patella tendon, But my ROM is really good, I earned it with a lot of pain. In the beginning they bent my knee so hard that I thought the scar would split open ! How is walking ? I would not worry about the numbness – I still have it down the front of my leg. They have to cut some nerves and they eventually might come back. Pain is something else. But you have to push through it to get the ROM. I wish you good luck and lots of stamina !

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@briard

I am sorry for your problems and I cannot give you that much hope, since my knee is now 2 years old and is still giving me pain. I still have the tight feeling, but that has become better. But I have scar tissue and nobody knows really, how to get rid if it. And I have pain in my patella tendon, But my ROM is really good, I earned it with a lot of pain. In the beginning they bent my knee so hard that I thought the scar would split open ! How is walking ? I would not worry about the numbness – I still have it down the front of my leg. They have to cut some nerves and they eventually might come back. Pain is something else. But you have to push through it to get the ROM. I wish you good luck and lots of stamina !

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I also didn’t have good range of motion and they went back in two months later to manipulate it. I have never been in so much pain with PT in my life. I finally had to stop as I actually had PTSD from it. I stopped when i started to have big pools of blood in the back of my thighs from breaking up scar tissue. I would be in a back room screaming and crying. I finally had to stop as I actually became had PTSD from it and had pools of blood down the back of my thighs.
I began to go to PT that actually doesn’t touch you. They just tell you what to do and you work your exercises. I was able to tolerate my own stretching. I also did deep tissue massage around the knee and diverted the swelling which allowed me to bend more. I actually have 130 range of motion now. I also did deep tissue massage around the knee and diverted the fluid which allowed me to bend more. I actually have 130 range of motion now and just tightness not pain. Still hard when I’ve been sitting for a while. I’m at month seven . I was still in pretty bad shape at 4 months. I’ve logged in about 70 rounds of golf since! Glad the Dr was wrong in saying I wouldn’t get any more ROM after month 4

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@golfshrink

I also didn’t have good range of motion and they went back in two months later to manipulate it. I have never been in so much pain with PT in my life. I finally had to stop as I actually had PTSD from it. I stopped when i started to have big pools of blood in the back of my thighs from breaking up scar tissue. I would be in a back room screaming and crying. I finally had to stop as I actually became had PTSD from it and had pools of blood down the back of my thighs.
I began to go to PT that actually doesn’t touch you. They just tell you what to do and you work your exercises. I was able to tolerate my own stretching. I also did deep tissue massage around the knee and diverted the swelling which allowed me to bend more. I actually have 130 range of motion now. I also did deep tissue massage around the knee and diverted the fluid which allowed me to bend more. I actually have 130 range of motion now and just tightness not pain. Still hard when I’ve been sitting for a while. I’m at month seven . I was still in pretty bad shape at 4 months. I’ve logged in about 70 rounds of golf since! Glad the Dr was wrong in saying I wouldn’t get any more ROM after month 4

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Not sure why my message kept repeating…

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My Dr. scoped me and found massive scar tissue. He arthroscopically cut out the scar fjssue. That has been huge in my recovery.

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@golfshrink

I also didn’t have good range of motion and they went back in two months later to manipulate it. I have never been in so much pain with PT in my life. I finally had to stop as I actually had PTSD from it. I stopped when i started to have big pools of blood in the back of my thighs from breaking up scar tissue. I would be in a back room screaming and crying. I finally had to stop as I actually became had PTSD from it and had pools of blood down the back of my thighs.
I began to go to PT that actually doesn’t touch you. They just tell you what to do and you work your exercises. I was able to tolerate my own stretching. I also did deep tissue massage around the knee and diverted the swelling which allowed me to bend more. I actually have 130 range of motion now. I also did deep tissue massage around the knee and diverted the fluid which allowed me to bend more. I actually have 130 range of motion now and just tightness not pain. Still hard when I’ve been sitting for a while. I’m at month seven . I was still in pretty bad shape at 4 months. I’ve logged in about 70 rounds of golf since! Glad the Dr was wrong in saying I wouldn’t get any more ROM after month 4

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Boy I felt your pain right through this message I too was subjected to 18 PT visits which were sheer hell each and every time. Screaming and crying every single time. Pain meds didn’t touch the pain at PT. Even took a tequila shot beforehand. Nothing. After 2 months I hit the gym to do full extension biking, leg press, leg extension as well. At 8 months I am pain free and still do my circuit at the gym. Worked for me. Wasn’t easy. You can do it. I did it. Like has been said push through and chin up. Way up.

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Hi @leithlane! I agree the scar tissue is a pain to break up. My surgery was in May and I still have a hard bump of scar tissue above my knee at the end of the scar. For the first 6 to 8 weeks I could not massage the scar tissue myself. It was really tender. Another patient at PT suggested I use a cocoa butter stick. I was able to rub the cocoa butter on my scar tissue and give it an easy massage. That was very helpful. I then switched to coconut oil and used my thumbs to massage it. I still have a bump there. It is smaller, but it does seem to take a long time to break it up.

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@bizzarebird1

Hi just found this discussion and catching up with reading. I had left knee replaced on 21 June this year, i am hypermobile so have damaged both my knees. My surgeon stated that my knee joint was very small and he couldn’t use his jigsaw and had to free hand my replacement. He said it be ok! I had a small patch of numbness as predicted and ok. At 4 weeks post op the left side of my knee went totally numb with a raised swelling, i am now approaching 11 weeks post op and still this numbness and raises hard swollen hard on left side of scar. it stops me bending my knee l can only get to 77 and straight is 10-15. my surgeon sees me again on 10 oct and has said he will do a MUA if l don’t progress. I am struggling l cannot bend my knee it’s like a tight crushing band is around it when i try to bend, the professionals say it’s ok it’s fine but then tell me to push through the pain. I cannot bend my knee! the swelling lump of numb skin even dimples at the end of my scar, a dip big enough for my finger when i try to bend.
i was supposed to be back at work on 1 st october but that not happening now. i just feel hopeless i do physio every week and just feel like they are telling me off, they push down on my knee to straighten and it’s so painful i don’t know what to do!

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Hi @bizzarebird1. Have they offered any other suggestions? I did aqua therapy and found it to be very helpful. The water takes the pressure off the joints and it is easier to manipulate the knee. There is also a technique called dry needling which helps to break up scar tissue and improve range of motion. Those are just a few idea that might help. Let us know how it goes!

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@dduke

My Dr. scoped me and found massive scar tissue. He arthroscopically cut out the scar fjssue. That has been huge in my recovery.

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Hi I have massive scar tissue as well who is your doctor and where and what city I’m from Brooklyn New York

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The procedure is arthrolysis and fairly common. They usually wait three months or more after knee replacement to perform this. I am in Santa Barbara, CA and my Dr. is William Dunbar.

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@briard

I needed TKR, because my meniscus was shredded (words of the surgeons) and I am too old for partial, but apparently my body tried too hard to heal itself and created too much scar tissue, which I am now trying to get rid off. Seeing another surgeon on Friday – maybe he has another solution – and Abby, I am glad it worked out for you. I still have swelling after 2 years and my knee sometimes feels warm – so still inflammation in there. My patella tendon as well as my LCL are not working right and the LCL is still swollen a little – hang there all – it takes a lot of patience to be a patient ! And getting older is only for the young !!

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One year after TKR, manipulation under sedation, and 10 months of PT, and still have swelling, heat and pain. The doctor that Did the manipulation said nothing more can be done and dismissed me. I asked about lazer and he said he had no knowledge about it helping a knee that won’t bend.

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@dduke

The procedure is arthrolysis and fairly common. They usually wait three months or more after knee replacement to perform this. I am in Santa Barbara, CA and my Dr. is William Dunbar.

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Thank you I will look into it

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My knee was done in HSS in New York and the implants are perfect – you could try there – find a doctor there who will do this and watch that he does take Medicare or your insurance, because all the top doctors there do not take Medicare anymore.

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