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?

@wootenrl

Can scar tissue be removed under Lazer surgery on the knee.

Jump to this post

I had X-rays done 2 years ago and the knee was structurally fine. My range of motion shortly after the replacement (they didn’t give me numbers) was enough to ride a bike and they seemed pleased with that. It has been a gradual change. Two years after the replacement i needed to help my 91 year old mother so my exercise regime went by the wayside. I now walk 3 -4 miles most days and have tried the stationary bike and other exercises that I used in rehab but it’s terribly painful.

REPLY

Hi not sure.how not excericing causes a regression, is it scar tissue making a come back?

REPLY

I had TKR 16 months ago. Had a operation to remove some scar results negative. Have therapies a number of times Also water therapy. when is a revision called upon?

REPLY

Hi there. I had a RTKR about 3-4 years ago, which even after P.T. and following my doctor’s directions specifically, just never got passed the “hurting” stage. He took an x-ray, saw nothing, but it kept filling with fluid. He drained it several times, and I also has several shots of I believe Synvisc, although I’m not sure of that. I went through P.T. several times, rode my bike and did everything I could …. no help. Finally said, he did not know what was going on in there, but we’d better go for the last resort – a revision. So, about 2 years ago I had a revision, which is a bit more involved as both posts go farther down and up the leg …. they are longer. I went to P.T., Rehab, and once again did everything I could. I can happily say that even though we never knew what was causing that pain from the original RTKR, it is now wonderfully well. The only time I notice it is when it is going to rain …. it’s a great barometer – in the “ouchy” way. I do have to strenthen the ligaments and muscles around it so I will be going to the local Wellness Center as I’m a bit “off balance” at times, but otherwise, I am absolutely delighted with this revision. It’s definitely a last resort, and not to be taken lightly, but ….. when you get to the end, you get to the end.
Good luck my friend,
abby

REPLY

So glad to hear that you got relief from all that pain nothing worse than going in expecting relief and coming out with more pain I probably will have to do the same eventually all the best

REPLY

Hi. Just joined today after finding this thread while googling about scar tissue after knee replacement. I am 42 years old and 6 weeks out from a partial knee replacement, at my post op visit this week was basically scolded by the PA I saw about my flexion and extension (9-100) and was told with “only” a partial I should be back to my pre-op of 0-130 and break up the scar tissue. I left that visit so discouraged. I have been doing my physical therapy religiously daily, but the pain has been so bad that I’m in tears most days. The PA upped my physical therapy appointments back to 3x/week. My physical therapist said yesterday that he feels somewhat responsible in the development of the scar tissue because he should have been more aggressive from the beginning but because of the severe pain I was in backed off some hoping that as the pain subsided I would be able to tolerate more. Well, the pain hasn’t subsided but I’m still having to push more through the pain to try to get “normal”. I was in tears at physical therapy from the pushing he was doing on the knee to get it to bend further and to break up that tissue. I’m back on the Diclofenac I was pre surgery to try to help with the inflammation and was given Tramadol to take before PT and at night to help with the pain, unfortunately that doesn’t really help much. I feel like every time I call my surgeon’s office to ask for something more for the pain I’m treated like a drug seeker. I was told that if I don’t make significant progress in the next couple of weeks, I would probably be needing a manipulation. I’ve been through 3 surgeries in the past year (knee scope-where the severe osteoarthritis was discovered, the partial knee replacement, and gallbladder removal), that thinking about anesthesia again makes me ill – and I’m almost out of medical leave benefit. My emotions are all over the place these days. Thanks for letting me vent, for reading, and for helping me to realize I’m not so alone in this journey.

REPLY

I have been through it all. Now I have been taking spinal pain shots. They haven’t worked at all. So I am going to have a pain implant put in and will see if that helps. I don’t want a revision done on the TKR.

Liked by LynneB

REPLY

I had my tkr done 5 years ago, still swells especially in water therapy. That is why i went to stem cells for the other knee. All i can say is live with it and try to strengthen the leg as best you can. My surgeon just shrugged his shoulders and said move on. I noticed in my years of dealing with it is some really do well and others do not and they have the same surgeons. Pain pills and i do not get along so working out and doing my exercises is all i can recommend. If i had do overs i would never had the tkr done. Next life will be different.

REPLY
@kibe75

Hi. Just joined today after finding this thread while googling about scar tissue after knee replacement. I am 42 years old and 6 weeks out from a partial knee replacement, at my post op visit this week was basically scolded by the PA I saw about my flexion and extension (9-100) and was told with “only” a partial I should be back to my pre-op of 0-130 and break up the scar tissue. I left that visit so discouraged. I have been doing my physical therapy religiously daily, but the pain has been so bad that I’m in tears most days. The PA upped my physical therapy appointments back to 3x/week. My physical therapist said yesterday that he feels somewhat responsible in the development of the scar tissue because he should have been more aggressive from the beginning but because of the severe pain I was in backed off some hoping that as the pain subsided I would be able to tolerate more. Well, the pain hasn’t subsided but I’m still having to push more through the pain to try to get “normal”. I was in tears at physical therapy from the pushing he was doing on the knee to get it to bend further and to break up that tissue. I’m back on the Diclofenac I was pre surgery to try to help with the inflammation and was given Tramadol to take before PT and at night to help with the pain, unfortunately that doesn’t really help much. I feel like every time I call my surgeon’s office to ask for something more for the pain I’m treated like a drug seeker. I was told that if I don’t make significant progress in the next couple of weeks, I would probably be needing a manipulation. I’ve been through 3 surgeries in the past year (knee scope-where the severe osteoarthritis was discovered, the partial knee replacement, and gallbladder removal), that thinking about anesthesia again makes me ill – and I’m almost out of medical leave benefit. My emotions are all over the place these days. Thanks for letting me vent, for reading, and for helping me to realize I’m not so alone in this journey.

Jump to this post

Has your therapist done deep tissue massage? Very painful but it eventually worked for me. I have had both knees replaced. Recovery can be a long process.

Liked by Jamie Olson

REPLY
@kibe75

Hi. Just joined today after finding this thread while googling about scar tissue after knee replacement. I am 42 years old and 6 weeks out from a partial knee replacement, at my post op visit this week was basically scolded by the PA I saw about my flexion and extension (9-100) and was told with “only” a partial I should be back to my pre-op of 0-130 and break up the scar tissue. I left that visit so discouraged. I have been doing my physical therapy religiously daily, but the pain has been so bad that I’m in tears most days. The PA upped my physical therapy appointments back to 3x/week. My physical therapist said yesterday that he feels somewhat responsible in the development of the scar tissue because he should have been more aggressive from the beginning but because of the severe pain I was in backed off some hoping that as the pain subsided I would be able to tolerate more. Well, the pain hasn’t subsided but I’m still having to push more through the pain to try to get “normal”. I was in tears at physical therapy from the pushing he was doing on the knee to get it to bend further and to break up that tissue. I’m back on the Diclofenac I was pre surgery to try to help with the inflammation and was given Tramadol to take before PT and at night to help with the pain, unfortunately that doesn’t really help much. I feel like every time I call my surgeon’s office to ask for something more for the pain I’m treated like a drug seeker. I was told that if I don’t make significant progress in the next couple of weeks, I would probably be needing a manipulation. I’ve been through 3 surgeries in the past year (knee scope-where the severe osteoarthritis was discovered, the partial knee replacement, and gallbladder removal), that thinking about anesthesia again makes me ill – and I’m almost out of medical leave benefit. My emotions are all over the place these days. Thanks for letting me vent, for reading, and for helping me to realize I’m not so alone in this journey.

Jump to this post

Did everything and just quit and moved on. Swollen knee etc. got better over time but still swells do a lot of biking in warm weather and lost 20 pounds. Tat seemed to help.

REPLY

I just had second tkr January 9th. First was fantastik. Swift, easy recovery except for those few PT visits to push knee back. This time the pain has been terrible. Stiffness is scary. I was discharged on one half percoset every 6 hours. I am crying a lot from pain and fear of PT. Same MD but new protocol which I questioned before the surgery. Almost cancelled day prior. Should have listened to my gut. Such regret. Also treated like drug seeker. When you cut through the femur with a saw….the result is pain.. adequate treatment of pain promotes healing. I am furious and disgusted with todays medicine which is move them through keep em moving faster faster. More money more money

REPLY
@annfaber

I just had second tkr January 9th. First was fantastik. Swift, easy recovery except for those few PT visits to push knee back. This time the pain has been terrible. Stiffness is scary. I was discharged on one half percoset every 6 hours. I am crying a lot from pain and fear of PT. Same MD but new protocol which I questioned before the surgery. Almost cancelled day prior. Should have listened to my gut. Such regret. Also treated like drug seeker. When you cut through the femur with a saw….the result is pain.. adequate treatment of pain promotes healing. I am furious and disgusted with todays medicine which is move them through keep em moving faster faster. More money more money

Jump to this post

@annfaber, Hello. Welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. I’m sorry you’re experience this time around has been troublesome. How long ago did you have your first tkr? What changed between protocols?

REPLY
@annfaber

I just had second tkr January 9th. First was fantastik. Swift, easy recovery except for those few PT visits to push knee back. This time the pain has been terrible. Stiffness is scary. I was discharged on one half percoset every 6 hours. I am crying a lot from pain and fear of PT. Same MD but new protocol which I questioned before the surgery. Almost cancelled day prior. Should have listened to my gut. Such regret. Also treated like drug seeker. When you cut through the femur with a saw….the result is pain.. adequate treatment of pain promotes healing. I am furious and disgusted with todays medicine which is move them through keep em moving faster faster. More money more money

Jump to this post

6 yrs. Last time they did full leg block, used pain pump and discharged after 2 days with percoset 1 to 2 as needed every 4 hours. Stopped percoset quickly except for PT. Excellent recovery. Quick and complete. Only difficult time occurred after too aggressive PT session.
This time i was asked to fill prescriptions for anti inflamatory sulidec and purchase omeprezole and asprin, gabapentin and cymbalta for pain management. I cant take cymbalta so nixed that one.

This time also: partial block (useless)and 2 percoset q 4 hrs with oxycodone once in a while. Pain was excruciating. PT excessively aggressive. Miserable upon discharge. Current pain management useless as prescribed. They are trying to tell me that current protocol is due to new State regulations regarding opiates. I have a copy of the law and they are either lying or stupid. An acquaintance was discharged yesterday on the good old 1 or 2 percoset q 4 hrs prn. Also prior to surgery there were multiple errors in preparation. And Im told not to take the meds purchased prior to surgery and am taking xeralto instead. The practice has become an assembly line and no longer sees the human being.

REPLY
@annfaber

I just had second tkr January 9th. First was fantastik. Swift, easy recovery except for those few PT visits to push knee back. This time the pain has been terrible. Stiffness is scary. I was discharged on one half percoset every 6 hours. I am crying a lot from pain and fear of PT. Same MD but new protocol which I questioned before the surgery. Almost cancelled day prior. Should have listened to my gut. Such regret. Also treated like drug seeker. When you cut through the femur with a saw….the result is pain.. adequate treatment of pain promotes healing. I am furious and disgusted with todays medicine which is move them through keep em moving faster faster. More money more money

Jump to this post

PS. Dischage med current 1/2 percoset q 6 hrs. 28 pills.

REPLY
@kibe75

Hi. Just joined today after finding this thread while googling about scar tissue after knee replacement. I am 42 years old and 6 weeks out from a partial knee replacement, at my post op visit this week was basically scolded by the PA I saw about my flexion and extension (9-100) and was told with “only” a partial I should be back to my pre-op of 0-130 and break up the scar tissue. I left that visit so discouraged. I have been doing my physical therapy religiously daily, but the pain has been so bad that I’m in tears most days. The PA upped my physical therapy appointments back to 3x/week. My physical therapist said yesterday that he feels somewhat responsible in the development of the scar tissue because he should have been more aggressive from the beginning but because of the severe pain I was in backed off some hoping that as the pain subsided I would be able to tolerate more. Well, the pain hasn’t subsided but I’m still having to push more through the pain to try to get “normal”. I was in tears at physical therapy from the pushing he was doing on the knee to get it to bend further and to break up that tissue. I’m back on the Diclofenac I was pre surgery to try to help with the inflammation and was given Tramadol to take before PT and at night to help with the pain, unfortunately that doesn’t really help much. I feel like every time I call my surgeon’s office to ask for something more for the pain I’m treated like a drug seeker. I was told that if I don’t make significant progress in the next couple of weeks, I would probably be needing a manipulation. I’ve been through 3 surgeries in the past year (knee scope-where the severe osteoarthritis was discovered, the partial knee replacement, and gallbladder removal), that thinking about anesthesia again makes me ill – and I’m almost out of medical leave benefit. My emotions are all over the place these days. Thanks for letting me vent, for reading, and for helping me to realize I’m not so alone in this journey.

Jump to this post

@kibe75,

I had a right TKR in 2006. My recovery was awful. It was a combination of many factors: I wasn’t aggressive enough on my rehab, the pain was intense and made rehab difficult, and I had really aggressive scar tissue growth. I ended up having to have two manipulations because my range-of-motion post replacement was a dismal 15-60 or so. Eventually I “popped” the scar tissue loose on my own, on accident, and my range-of-motion has been 0-105/110 ever since.

I learned then, and especially now on these threads, that we are all so much different. We heal differently, we react to medications differently, our bodies grow scar tissue at different rates. All I can say for certain is stick with it and keep pushing yourself. Try not to get too discouraged and quit. In total, my recovery was well over a year, but I got there. I have had no setbacks and virtually no pain in my right knee for the past 12 years.

@kibe75, how is your mobility on the knee? Are you able to use a stationary bike?

Liked by jlfisher56

REPLY
Please login or register to post a reply.