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?

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Joint Replacements group.

@mylynn

Just read your post and curious if your scar tissue came back since the arthroscopic procedure, hopefully not

Jump to this post

Sorry haven’t checked posts for a while
Wondering how your knee rom is now , still improved I hope

REPLY
@babette

Has anyone here had a PT who uses the Graston technique? I'd appreciate your impressions!

Jump to this post

I had knee replaced 7 months ago, still stiff, went to a chiropractor and he did graston technique, went 2 times, and sorry to say it didn’t help

REPLY

@mylynn I was afraid of that. Seems kind of fringe-y to me!

REPLY
@dmcdon16

I had a total knee replacement 8 weeks ago and have the same problem – scar tissue that limits bending my knee. Plus it is getting worse. PT is extremely painful and not working. I went to a dermatologist who told me to consider Astym, which I am looking into. Google it to learn about it. Hope this helps. Once I start I will let you know how it goes.

Jump to this post

Hi I just read about astym and they make big claims of success but it looks sketchy
So wondering if u ever did anything with this therapy

REPLY
@mylynn

Hi I just read about astym and they make big claims of success but it looks sketchy
So wondering if u ever did anything with this therapy

Jump to this post

I have only had one session where I learned that a lot of my scar tissue in my leg is not new. It formed the past few years that I had delayed surgery and favored my good knee. The scar tissue related to the knee replacement is new. The doctor treating me told me I needed to get rid of the swelling before she could really tackle the scar tissue so she went pretty gentle the first session. It was not painful. She rolled a heavy plastic piece of equipment gently over my entire leg – both front and back of the leg – from ankle to thigh. She did indicate that she would gradually rub that tool deeper and deeper into the tissue to break up the scar tissue on subsequent sessions. After that session she put me on an ice machine where ice cold water ran thru a leg wrap that was also a compression wrap to assist in reducing swelling. Let me get a few more sessions under my belt and I will get back with you to let you know how it is going.

REPLY

Great Keep us all informed my scar tissue has been bothering me for a year and a half

REPLY
@JustinMcClanahan

Hello @hospdoc, and welcome to Connect. Thank you for sharing your story with the other members of this group and discussion.

I also had a bad recovery from a total knee replacement in 2006. I had to have two manipulations, and when that didn’t work I did a full leg cast with cranks at the knee joint that I would turn to manually apply pressure to bend my knee. That still didn’t work. One day, about a year and a half after my surgery I popped the knee loose on my own on accident and I now have 0-100.

From one TKR to another, all I can say is keep pushing and keeping seeking answers, it can get better, even if it takes more time than you originally thought. I’d be interested to hear more about your astym treatment if you don’t mind sharing with the group.

Jump to this post

Hi I know this post to u is after a year, but your story is quite similar to mine so thought I’d ask
I had a tkr in March 2018 , I’ve had 2 manipulations, didn’t help, I use a jas splint to manually crank my knee into a bend do PT etc
I don’t seem to be getting better, bend still ab 90. I used to be very active , Tennis etc. I’m 67
U said it took more time , so I’m wondering if u eventually got a better rom.
Thanx

REPLY
@mylynn

Hi I know this post to u is after a year, but your story is quite similar to mine so thought I’d ask
I had a tkr in March 2018 , I’ve had 2 manipulations, didn’t help, I use a jas splint to manually crank my knee into a bend do PT etc
I don’t seem to be getting better, bend still ab 90. I used to be very active , Tennis etc. I’m 67
U said it took more time , so I’m wondering if u eventually got a better rom.
Thanx

Jump to this post

I am in the same position as you. Only my surgeon completed the one manipulation and 3 months later went and completed arthroscopic arthrolysis and debridment of left knee. This was just over 2 weeks ago, I was unable to bend the knee until Wednesday last week. I can now bend to 90 degrees

REPLY
@mylynn

Hi I know this post to u is after a year, but your story is quite similar to mine so thought I’d ask
I had a tkr in March 2018 , I’ve had 2 manipulations, didn’t help, I use a jas splint to manually crank my knee into a bend do PT etc
I don’t seem to be getting better, bend still ab 90. I used to be very active , Tennis etc. I’m 67
U said it took more time , so I’m wondering if u eventually got a better rom.
Thanx

Jump to this post

@mylynn, I am happy to report that eventually I did get a ROM of 0-115ish. I ended up popping the scar tissue loose on my own once I knew I was recovered and just forced myself to be active. Stick with it. I was not aggressive enough in my PT and I backed off on it which did not help my cause. I allowed my self to get discouraged. In all, it probably took me 18 months from the initial surgery, to the two manipulations, through the crank brace, and then eventually finding my 'new normal' after popping the scar tissue loose playing catch football with my friends. I definitely learned not everyone heals or makes progress at the same speed, and at 7 months post-op, I think you still have some room for improvement! @mylynn, how are you doing with pain & swelling?

REPLY
@JustinMcClanahan

@mylynn, I am happy to report that eventually I did get a ROM of 0-115ish. I ended up popping the scar tissue loose on my own once I knew I was recovered and just forced myself to be active. Stick with it. I was not aggressive enough in my PT and I backed off on it which did not help my cause. I allowed my self to get discouraged. In all, it probably took me 18 months from the initial surgery, to the two manipulations, through the crank brace, and then eventually finding my 'new normal' after popping the scar tissue loose playing catch football with my friends. I definitely learned not everyone heals or makes progress at the same speed, and at 7 months post-op, I think you still have some room for improvement! @mylynn, how are you doing with pain & swelling?

Jump to this post

Thanx for your reply . I don’t have much swelling anymore but do have pain. I do my own pt at this point as blew thru insurance. I do stationary bike and tons of bending strengthening exercises but don’t see any improvement, used to play tennis and really miss it.
So am discouraged !!

REPLY
@JustinMcClanahan

@mylynn, I am happy to report that eventually I did get a ROM of 0-115ish. I ended up popping the scar tissue loose on my own once I knew I was recovered and just forced myself to be active. Stick with it. I was not aggressive enough in my PT and I backed off on it which did not help my cause. I allowed my self to get discouraged. In all, it probably took me 18 months from the initial surgery, to the two manipulations, through the crank brace, and then eventually finding my 'new normal' after popping the scar tissue loose playing catch football with my friends. I definitely learned not everyone heals or makes progress at the same speed, and at 7 months post-op, I think you still have some room for improvement! @mylynn, how are you doing with pain & swelling?

Jump to this post

Just thought of another ? What does popping your knee mean and do u think it can be replicated by a doc under anesthesia
Thanx again!!!

REPLY
@gator1965

I am in the same position as you. Only my surgeon completed the one manipulation and 3 months later went and completed arthroscopic arthrolysis and debridment of left knee. This was just over 2 weeks ago, I was unable to bend the knee until Wednesday last week. I can now bend to 90 degrees

Jump to this post

Is that basically arthroscopic surgery and I hope it gives you relief
I’m curious to know if you stay scar free and can continue to bend

REPLY
Please sign in or register to post a reply.
  Request Appointment