Scar tissue after knee replacement
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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@sdhkkhmz Having had this surgery reminds me a lot of the conspiracy of silence around childbirth. No one tells you how much pain is involved in the recovery. At just over 3 months out I'm only now beginning to turn a corner. Those early weeks were really really bad and even opiates didn't help.
I'm seeing an acupuncturist who shared with me the Chinese view on no icing. Inflammation, swelling and tenderness are part of the healing process and are respected as such. Not to overwhelm or confuse you but there are some mainstream YouTube videos that explain why ice is not a good idea beyond the first day or so of an injury …
Just my .02.
My physio at the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital, advises that they put patients straight in the hydrotherapy pool following a TKR, certainly I would have benefited from this in my case. They simply apply a waterproof dressing. They advised me that there is little chance of infection as the water is highly chlorinated. After my arthroscopic arthrolysis and debridment of the knee I was in the pool within 36 hours of the surgery.
Like you I did not like icing my knee as it caused a burning type of pain, and still does 7 months following my TKR. I prefer a gel heat pad, it provides pain relief for me.
Make sure the ice pack in covered with a pillowcase or t-shirt before applying to your skin. Another method is to get the Ossur ice machine. You can adjust the level of cold and leave it on for hours if necessary. Moist heat pad also works well (designed to be a moist heat pad, not just getting a heating pad wet).
It has been exactly one month since replacement of my left knee. My right one was done 17 months ago, with no problems at all.
This time, although I've far exceeded the expected range of mobility, I've had a recurring problem with the scar splitting open about a quarter of an inch, through which clear to slightly pink fluid gushes forth. It started 11 days ago. It is odorless, and the tissue does not appear to be infected. However, as a precautionary measure, I've been placed on an antibiotic. If I avoid over-flexing my knee, when sitting down, for example, and keep a dressing on the site, it eventually closes. But, if I later forget and sit or rise quickly, it happens again, sometimes a half-inch or so from the last point of rupture.
This has me extremely frustrated, as my physical therapy has now been delayed. I am very anxious to finish my PT and get on with life, and am having a hard time remaining immobile.
Can anything be applied to the scar area to make it less prone to a breach?
Sorry haven’t replied, but thank u for your response. I am getting different opinions Re arthroscopic debridment . 2 docs said they would do it and have had success in some cases , no way to know if it comes back. My doc does not do this procedure as he feels I may end up with worse scar tissue. So I’m really confused,
As I wrote to gator 1965, 2 orthopedic surgeons suggested I have this surgery to remove scar tissue. They have had success with this, but not always, my original doc, who did the replacement does not do this procedure as he feels u run the risk of getting more scar tissue. Anyone have any data or thoughts on this ? Thanx!!!
Sorry haven’t been following , but yes the mri was with a new doctor, not the doc who did my knee replace. I’m told the mri (M A R S- metal , artifact, reduction, system] is not fool proof, but does give them some of the story, My original doctor doesn’t use this and also will not do arthroscopic surgery for this as he feels it mite grow back even worse, so for now I’m doing my own PT , hoping with time it will loosen up, and he is suggesting a third manipulation as it is harmless,
It seems u know quite a bit ab this scar tissue, was wondering if u have any knowledge of why some people are more prone to get it? I’ve been trying to look up some info but very little seems to be know about it. I myself have mild psoriasis and now thinking this may be related , any thoughts on this?
I found a useful article on line "Stiffness following total knee arthroplasty "(2014). It discusses arthroscopic removal of scar tissue and range of motion improvement following the surgery. I certainly improved from 70 degrees to 107 in 6 weeks. It has been very hard work but I am getting there. I return back to work on Monday, which would not have been possible 6 weeks ago. Pain is still a problem, in particular neuropathic pain.
In terms of developing arthrofibrosis, my surgeon and physio advised that there are risk factors:- age of the individual ( younger people are more prone ), history of infection after the knee replacement, and being more genetically prone to producing excessive scar tissue.
My surgeon did not advocate a 2nd manipulation as he said the scar tissue would reaccumulate, the only viable options were to wait and see if it resolved by itself (This could take longer than a year, returning to work was my priority and not be retired on the grounds of ill health) or go in surgically and remove it. He felt the surgery was the only way, a risk that paid off thankfully. I had and have total trust in his surgical capabilities, I just hope he is not retired when I need my hip replacing!
I am 8 months out from my TKR and am having the scar tissue removal surgery on 11/28. I have a history of generating too much scar tissue so I suspect my issue is genetic. Ive been researching since August I’ve have one surgeon recommend the arthroscopic removal and one say to to a total revision. From the tons of research I’ve done, if you choose the arthroscopic procedure you have to also know that the PT will be immediate and intense to prevent more scar tissue. The revision is a last resort.