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?

@maggiet

I had a total knee replacement 8 months ago it it has been hell. I have had two manipulations, the second one popping open part of my three month old incision. I have may havee 78 degree bend after all this crap. I am currently having saline injections to try and help break up the scar tissue. After 3 treatments I have gained 12 degrees. Would never have done this had I know this would be the result.

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I am in the same spot as you, I had my first surgery in August. I am in severe pain, had arthroscopy to remove dense scar tissue the day before Halloween. Despite different pain management doctors prescribing nearly everything under the sun, I’ve had no improvement to the pain. I was getting 110-105 the first few weeks, but this past Friday only achieved 96 degrees, all while screaming in tears with pts physically pushing me.

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I had my TKR 7 weeks ago…going in this week to try to break the scar tissue…they are putting me out. Haven’t slept well since the surgery…great deal of pain. Biggest issue is Range of Motion…only at 95 degrees. I want to remain active, but I’m getting nervous. Surgeons did not recommend Physical Therapy initially, but now they want me to start. I’m confused about that as well…I’ve worked it hard at home.

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@rjmurray41

I had my TKR 7 weeks ago…going in this week to try to break the scar tissue…they are putting me out. Haven’t slept well since the surgery…great deal of pain. Biggest issue is Range of Motion…only at 95 degrees. I want to remain active, but I’m getting nervous. Surgeons did not recommend Physical Therapy initially, but now they want me to start. I’m confused about that as well…I’ve worked it hard at home.

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Hello @rjmurray41, welcome to Connect.

If you are only at 7 weeks, try to not get discouraged just yet. It took me well over a year to find my new norm. Like you, I struggled with extreme scar tissue formation. I also had to have two manipulations where they put me back under to break the scar tissue. I had a horrible recovery, but I was also battling 12 years of right leg muscle atrophy and joint flexion, so I was trying to reverse a decades worth of not having my leg straight or bent properly. In the end, I ended up getting to 0-105 degrees or so of flexion.

I also did not do physical therapy except for what they gave me to do at home. Looking back, I was not nearly as disciplined as I should have been to combat the scar tissue. Pain can be debilitating, especially when trying to rehab.

@rjmurray41, if you don’t mind sharing, are you concerned about the procedure to break up the scar tissue? How are you currently managing your pain? I also had a lot of pain after the replacement, but it does get progressively better (and so does the sleep, I became a major insomniac for the first few months).

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@rjmurray41

I had my TKR 7 weeks ago…going in this week to try to break the scar tissue…they are putting me out. Haven’t slept well since the surgery…great deal of pain. Biggest issue is Range of Motion…only at 95 degrees. I want to remain active, but I’m getting nervous. Surgeons did not recommend Physical Therapy initially, but now they want me to start. I’m confused about that as well…I’ve worked it hard at home.

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As Justin said …. with only 7 weeks behind you, you just can’t expect it to look very good. I had my original TKR 4 years ago, and a revision to that one a year afterwards ….. that was almost 3 years ago. I still have quite a scar on my knee and I suspect I always will. I consider it my “badge of courage” ….. I have many friends who are too afraid to have a TKR …. not me, get er’ done is my philosophy. I’m not sure what is meant by breaking it up. I just rubbed coconut oil (the solid) on it for a year with no results. Please don’t misinterpret this as discouraging you …. I’m not doing that intentionally, but some things may have to be lived with.
abby

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@rjmurray41

I had my TKR 7 weeks ago…going in this week to try to break the scar tissue…they are putting me out. Haven’t slept well since the surgery…great deal of pain. Biggest issue is Range of Motion…only at 95 degrees. I want to remain active, but I’m getting nervous. Surgeons did not recommend Physical Therapy initially, but now they want me to start. I’m confused about that as well…I’ve worked it hard at home.

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Hi Justin. I am concerned about the procedure…namely, I’m worried that forcing the knee to bend could have some adverse effects on the ligaments and tendons in my knee. I have had 4 surgeries prior to this including an ACL, so to me it sounds a little like we are just going to force the bend and see what happens. I’m not a doctor…so I don’t expect to completely understand. I just don’t completely know the risk vs the reward. I want to get back to riding a bike…maybe doubles tennis…that kind of thing. I’m working on my patience and long term approach to the whole thing.

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I had both knees replaced. I did go to PT when I was not making much progress. Helped me out a lot. Deep tissue massage was painful but the results were worth it. They give you so many more exercises to do than just the few simple ones when you leave the hospital. It was slow going at first but then all of a sudden one day big improvement. My niece is in PT down south and Dr.,s there all send their patients to PT.

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

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@wootenrl

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

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Hello @sandcar, welcome to Connect. I moved your message and the discussion to which you posted to an already existing discussion called Scar Tissue After Knee Replacement. If you are replying by email to this message, I suggest clicking on VIEW & REPLY so that you can read through the whole discussion and meet the many members talking about similar symptoms to yourself.

@sandcar, you mentioned that you had your knee replaced 11 years ago (actually, I also had mine done 11 years ago), if you don’t mind sharing, how was your range-of-motion up to 4 year ago? Have you had any Xrays? I know eventually my knee will need revision, but the knees they were doing 11 years ago were part of a wave of longer lasting knees. Do you know how your knee is structurally?

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@wootenrl

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

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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.

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

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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?

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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

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