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?

@lkinny

@sdhkkjmz New to group. Healing takes so much longer than we think it'll be. I did bilateral 8 mos.ago. I'm having intense tendon pain behind knee esp after exercise, if anyone has thoughts … Anyway, for those with ROM issues , read below, there's a great – really great — option to look into. Pain-killers: I needed for long time. Percocet was useless, get a stronger pain reliever, the strongest you can! But… you are ONLY 2 weeks post op ! You need a few months to evaluate how you are. I was lucky to get into rehab facility with good PT for 2 weeks … but various levels of pain continued for a long while from multiple sources. Sleep was difficult (sleep aid is helping). I don't think your scar tissue is building up at this point. Here are a couple ideas. Water exercise (with lots of bending) has been good (it's a bit too early for you, due to wound). For you at this early point, I'd work on the ROM a lot now. And I used an amazing machine to help do that. X-10 machine. It's not a CPM, I found that horrible. The testimonials are true. It's not covered by insurance except in Michigan, and it's hard to get a machine (rent) bec there's so much demand, but it was worth every penny. You sit comfortably, it gently moves your leg; you control the slight increases (each day you improve); most people get to full ROM quickly. (My PT was so amazed at how I was doing that they totally slacked off with me – with bad consequences now). The say the best time to use X-10 is a week or 2 post op. Can't recommend it enough.

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i get intense pain behind knee at top of calf, believed to be the gastrocnemius muscle being too tight awaiting biomechanics for insoles due to over rotated ankles and flat feet. which l have always had but no one considers when making drastic changes to my posture as hypermobilie. i now have one knee that’s 10 degrees off straight and one that’s -10 straight hypermobilie x

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@bizzarebird1

i get intense pain behind knee at top of calf, believed to be the gastrocnemius muscle being too tight awaiting biomechanics for insoles due to over rotated ankles and flat feet. which l have always had but no one considers when making drastic changes to my posture as hypermobilie. i now have one knee that’s 10 degrees off straight and one that’s -10 straight hypermobilie x

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Hi @bizzarebird1 – sounds as if you are having a difficult recovery. I think I remember you saying earlier that you were supposed to return to work in October? Were you able to do that? I'm wishing you the best. That intense knee pain is not easy to live with.

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@debbraw

Hi @bizzarebird1 – sounds as if you are having a difficult recovery. I think I remember you saying earlier that you were supposed to return to work in October? Were you able to do that? I'm wishing you the best. That intense knee pain is not easy to live with.

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no my MUA was not until 13/10/18 so i couldn’t go back. my employer has just issued me with a written warning for sickness absence so it’s all very up in the air. with my right knee being replaced in march l am still on crutches and struggling so not good! pain isn’t too bad on replaced knee, non replaced knee is more troublesome pain wise! numbness in replaced knee is whole knee so walking is very different experience

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@bizzarebird1

i had to wait until week 8 for hydrotherapy and it’s such as shame as the progress in water is exceptional i am planning on getting in pool asap with right knee next year

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@blizzardbird1 good for you I know when I had my back fracture it was easier on me when in therapy yes the pool is easier on your joints

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@bizzarebird1

no my MUA was not until 13/10/18 so i couldn’t go back. my employer has just issued me with a written warning for sickness absence so it’s all very up in the air. with my right knee being replaced in march l am still on crutches and struggling so not good! pain isn’t too bad on replaced knee, non replaced knee is more troublesome pain wise! numbness in replaced knee is whole knee so walking is very different experience

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@bizzarebird1 – Dang! That uncertainty on the job front has got to be tough on top of the discomfort. Hang in there. Once the other knee is done, things should look brighter. I'm sure you've probably explored this, but is there any chance you could work from home for awhile?

Liked by lioness

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@bizzarebird1

i get intense pain behind knee at top of calf, believed to be the gastrocnemius muscle being too tight awaiting biomechanics for insoles due to over rotated ankles and flat feet. which l have always had but no one considers when making drastic changes to my posture as hypermobilie. i now have one knee that’s 10 degrees off straight and one that’s -10 straight hypermobilie x

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All of us w terrible bone problems. Has anyone asked Dr. if stem cells/PRP would help w Faster Healing?

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I have a question regarding sideways/twisting motion after TKR. 11 weeks after the surgery I am making very good progress regarding ROM, and forward/backward movement (as in squats, lunges, going up and down stairs). HOWEVER, things are nor really progressing with sideways motion, as when you are standing and bending your knee out and your foot up – as you would when pulling off a sock, for example, or doing heel touches. I have been working on that some in the pool, but it is still pretty painful. Is this common, how long will it last, will it ever get better?

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@mari

All of us w terrible bone problems. Has anyone asked Dr. if stem cells/PRP would help w Faster Healing?

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i did stem cells on my left knee when i had a tkr that has proved to be a failure. 6 years later my tkr is still swollen and painful. Stem cells proved to work along with prp injections. I realize it is costly but i am now seeing insurance paying for it. It proved to be a great alternative to doing tkr on the second knee.

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How about Robotic surgery – Isn't that the newest and Best. It goes where fingers cannot. I get complements on my scar. 1 long scar.

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@ellerbracke

I have a question regarding sideways/twisting motion after TKR. 11 weeks after the surgery I am making very good progress regarding ROM, and forward/backward movement (as in squats, lunges, going up and down stairs). HOWEVER, things are nor really progressing with sideways motion, as when you are standing and bending your knee out and your foot up – as you would when pulling off a sock, for example, or doing heel touches. I have been working on that some in the pool, but it is still pretty painful. Is this common, how long will it last, will it ever get better?

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@ellerbracke – After my right TKR, sideways/twisting was way harder than forward/backward. A year and a half later, it still doesn't feel like a normal movement. Wish I could give you more encouragement and maybe others can, but for me it hasn't gotten "normal" yet.

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8 months ago, I underwent an unplanned total knee replacement as a result of a running injury. Initial PT got my movement to-15/120 forced, but for the last 5 months the flexion has gone downhill to 105. I was diagnosed with arthrofibrosis, but the amount of movement in my knee made that diagnosis questionable.

A second opinion with a professor at an Orthopedics’s ruled out infection (thank God), but revealed I have a metal allergy to nickel – but only at a .1mm concentration. He thought the allergy combined with arthrofibrosis was possibly causing my pain. Unfortunately, due to my age (54) this professor, who teaches revisions, said he would not recommend a revision for me at this time or I would not be able to walk by the time I’m in my mid sixties. He said “I’d recommend a nerve ablasion and find a way to deal with the pain for about 10’years”.

My initial surgeon consulted two other surgeons and all 4 of them agree with the professor. No revision. The initial surgeon however recommended an arthroscopic lysis of the adhesions and aggressive PT – focusing on stretching first before resigning myself to 10 years of pain.

The professor has said the arthroscopic lysis is not successful for arthrofibrosis.

Does anyone have experience with an arthroscopic lysis of adhesions to treat arthrofibrosis and if so what was the outcome?

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@melcpa86

8 months ago, I underwent an unplanned total knee replacement as a result of a running injury. Initial PT got my movement to-15/120 forced, but for the last 5 months the flexion has gone downhill to 105. I was diagnosed with arthrofibrosis, but the amount of movement in my knee made that diagnosis questionable.

A second opinion with a professor at an Orthopedics’s ruled out infection (thank God), but revealed I have a metal allergy to nickel – but only at a .1mm concentration. He thought the allergy combined with arthrofibrosis was possibly causing my pain. Unfortunately, due to my age (54) this professor, who teaches revisions, said he would not recommend a revision for me at this time or I would not be able to walk by the time I’m in my mid sixties. He said “I’d recommend a nerve ablasion and find a way to deal with the pain for about 10’years”.

My initial surgeon consulted two other surgeons and all 4 of them agree with the professor. No revision. The initial surgeon however recommended an arthroscopic lysis of the adhesions and aggressive PT – focusing on stretching first before resigning myself to 10 years of pain.

The professor has said the arthroscopic lysis is not successful for arthrofibrosis.

Does anyone have experience with an arthroscopic lysis of adhesions to treat arthrofibrosis and if so what was the outcome?

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@melcpa86, you may noticed I moved your recent discussion and combined it with an existing discussion titled "Scar tissue after knee replacement." I did this so all of the members discussing scar tissue, or arthrofibrosis, would see your message and share their thoughts with you. I also had a really rough time with scar tissue after my knee replacement. I had two additional manipulations to try and break up the scar tissue and those were unsuccessful. Fortunately, after about 18 months, I was able to pop the scar tissue loose on my own. My initial movement after surgery was extremely limited, about 15-50 degree ROM. I eventually, through lots of pain, managed to get to 0-110 or so. I was not a candidate to have the scar tissue removed because they thought the risk of infection was not worth the 50/50 gain I may or may not get.

@melcpa86, here is another discussion on metal allergy you may find interesting too, https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/need-tkr-and-had-positive-allergy-testing-bone-cement-and-metals/. If you don't mind me asking, is the lysis surgery something you are considering, or has it been ruled out by the professor?

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PLease – i only want to help HIP replacement people – i have No scar tissue. i'm 2 weeks out and All Drs. – PTs nurses etc. are amazed at progress. I walked up and down a Full flight of stairs in 4 days. Don't put me all over the place. I can't relate to scar tissue.

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@melcpa86

8 months ago, I underwent an unplanned total knee replacement as a result of a running injury. Initial PT got my movement to-15/120 forced, but for the last 5 months the flexion has gone downhill to 105. I was diagnosed with arthrofibrosis, but the amount of movement in my knee made that diagnosis questionable.

A second opinion with a professor at an Orthopedics’s ruled out infection (thank God), but revealed I have a metal allergy to nickel – but only at a .1mm concentration. He thought the allergy combined with arthrofibrosis was possibly causing my pain. Unfortunately, due to my age (54) this professor, who teaches revisions, said he would not recommend a revision for me at this time or I would not be able to walk by the time I’m in my mid sixties. He said “I’d recommend a nerve ablasion and find a way to deal with the pain for about 10’years”.

My initial surgeon consulted two other surgeons and all 4 of them agree with the professor. No revision. The initial surgeon however recommended an arthroscopic lysis of the adhesions and aggressive PT – focusing on stretching first before resigning myself to 10 years of pain.

The professor has said the arthroscopic lysis is not successful for arthrofibrosis.

Does anyone have experience with an arthroscopic lysis of adhesions to treat arthrofibrosis and if so what was the outcome?

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I had arthroscopic arthrolysis and debridment of left knee following a knee replacement at the end of September. For me I could only bend my knee under General anaesthetic to 70 degrees, I now can bend my knee to around 96 degrees, can drive and now work. I am still hoping to bend my knee further, but am restricted due to neuropathic pain. For me the surgery has helped

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@gator1965

I had arthroscopic arthrolysis and debridment of left knee following a knee replacement at the end of September. For me I could only bend my knee under General anaesthetic to 70 degrees, I now can bend my knee to around 96 degrees, can drive and now work. I am still hoping to bend my knee further, but am restricted due to neuropathic pain. For me the surgery has helped

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Yes that’s good to hear

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