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?

@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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@JustinMcClanahan

@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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I have not had the trouble with scar tissue. I look back on my operation which occurred in the morning and i never had a bed until evening and no manipulation took place until the next day. My knee has had problems for the past 6 years. Right now i have pain biking so i had it X rayed but no problem shows up. Nothing can be done the Dr says so i am working on exercises on the quad etc. I do not take pain pills as most kill stem cell and i spent money to do my back and other knee with stem cells.

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@JustinMcClanahan

@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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I am still considering arthroscopic surgery to remove scar tissue, but am waiting till new year for insurance
However someone mentioned cold laser therapy as being helpful. Does anyone know about this?
I am also planning on getting deep tissue massage to help with scar tissue and surrounding muscles, etc.

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@cobweb

I have not had the trouble with scar tissue. I look back on my operation which occurred in the morning and i never had a bed until evening and no manipulation took place until the next day. My knee has had problems for the past 6 years. Right now i have pain biking so i had it X rayed but no problem shows up. Nothing can be done the Dr says so i am working on exercises on the quad etc. I do not take pain pills as most kill stem cell and i spent money to do my back and other knee with stem cells.

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Why stop at x-ray Justin? Boswell Hospital (Sun City AZ) took x-ray, CAT scan – with me screaming in pain to b put on those machines. Next day they said – we don't see anything so we "won't do an MRI". THEY SENT ME HOME to suffer IN PAIN FOR 2 WEEKS. WENT to PCP – he said I should not b in SOOooo much pain for that long – ordered MRI, his office called me the next morn. said get to ER/ had a fractured hip – everything i did those 2 weeks would make fracture worse.

Had a new hip / surgery. For 2 weeks, used walker, could only go to bathroom and bed. It was too difficult / painful to make cereal, mostly took a banana back to bed w me.

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@JustinMcClanahan

@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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@JustinMcClanahan i did go ahead and have the lysis surgery. The professor said no , but the other 3 surgeons said it was my best shot at relieving the pain

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@mylynn

I am still considering arthroscopic surgery to remove scar tissue, but am waiting till new year for insurance
However someone mentioned cold laser therapy as being helpful. Does anyone know about this?
I am also planning on getting deep tissue massage to help with scar tissue and surrounding muscles, etc.

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@mylynn I tried deep tissue massage and ASTYM to try and address the scar tissue non-surgically. I got no improvement from either in the long run. The deep tissue massage was helpful on the day I had it done- as long as I limited weight hearing. The ASTYM just bruised my entire leg and the practioner recommended stopping as it wasn’t helping

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@briard

I am still in PT being massaged and do some myself – having problems with the patella tendon – doing exercises in the pool – it seems to get a little better very slowly !!! – Maybe there is hope after 2 years ? So don't give up just keep on pushing through the pain !!

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What does script say (in order for me to get massage therapy) I know that if i could reach and get massaged – it would really help. Are u getting it from a PT? Please answer completely.

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