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?

@3737

5 knee operations, 3 knee replacements resulting in severe scar tissue/ nerve damage.

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Hi @3737, welcome to Connect. You'll see that I moved your message to this existing discussion about scar tissue and knee replacements where people are talking about dealing with scar tissue. Click VIEW & REPLY in the email notification to see the entire discussion and scroll through past messages.

You mention that you have had 3 knee replacements, but 5 knee operations. Did you have revision surgery due to scar tissue and nerve damage?

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@3737

5 knee operations, 3 knee replacements resulting in severe scar tissue/ nerve damage.

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Hi @3737 – Welcome to Connect! Sounds like you have had more than your share of knee problems. I can relate. I just had my 2nd knee replacement last month. Things seem to be going pretty well for me. I'm keeping my fingers crossed and doing my PT. How long ago was your surgery? Are you still doing PT? Hoping all goes well and wishing you the best.

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Hi, I'm 44 I just had a makoplasty, a partial knee replacememt on my left knee, I cant get it to bend past 70 degrees and its 2 and a half weeks out of surgery, I've been reading posts and it seems like some people make scar tissue more than others. Is there a way to fond out if that is the problem?
My surgeon said at the 5 week mark if I cant move it to 90 degrees he will put me under and manipulate it, that scares me though…

What is that like? Is it painful? Can you continue moving it when you wake up? Will you just make more scar tissue ?

I should be more aggressive at home but it hurts, it does not want to bend, the pain upon bending is enormous and then straightening it out is bad.

I can straighten my knee to negative 4 degrees which they tell me is good, it's just the bending that has me in a panic.

** also how mong does it take to be able to passively bend the knee …? They can push it painfully to 80 degrees but I cant just sit down at 70 or 80 I sit at like 40 or 60 degrees.

Also how long till I'm off I'm Walker?

ANY advice help or stories or explanations would be so grateful. I am terrified i made a mistake by doing this surgery and now I'll never bend my knee or be in constant pain or jave multiple surgeries.

I really cant go through another SURGERY

Thanks,

Deb

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@debbraw

Hi @3737 – Welcome to Connect! Sounds like you have had more than your share of knee problems. I can relate. I just had my 2nd knee replacement last month. Things seem to be going pretty well for me. I'm keeping my fingers crossed and doing my PT. How long ago was your surgery? Are you still doing PT? Hoping all goes well and wishing you the best.

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no on P/T , surgeon took me off 5 years ago. I did my own thing. exercised in water and knee swelled up like a balloon. Ride a bike alot as walking bothers me. Winter is tough. Walk down steps backwards as less pain. I am in good shape and have always been active. Gardening, golfing, etc. TKR knee bothers me after golf but stem cell knee does not. To bad we donot have do overs.

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@dsoda

Hi, I'm 44 I just had a makoplasty, a partial knee replacememt on my left knee, I cant get it to bend past 70 degrees and its 2 and a half weeks out of surgery, I've been reading posts and it seems like some people make scar tissue more than others. Is there a way to fond out if that is the problem?
My surgeon said at the 5 week mark if I cant move it to 90 degrees he will put me under and manipulate it, that scares me though…

What is that like? Is it painful? Can you continue moving it when you wake up? Will you just make more scar tissue ?

I should be more aggressive at home but it hurts, it does not want to bend, the pain upon bending is enormous and then straightening it out is bad.

I can straighten my knee to negative 4 degrees which they tell me is good, it's just the bending that has me in a panic.

** also how mong does it take to be able to passively bend the knee …? They can push it painfully to 80 degrees but I cant just sit down at 70 or 80 I sit at like 40 or 60 degrees.

Also how long till I'm off I'm Walker?

ANY advice help or stories or explanations would be so grateful. I am terrified i made a mistake by doing this surgery and now I'll never bend my knee or be in constant pain or jave multiple surgeries.

I really cant go through another SURGERY

Thanks,

Deb

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Hi @dsoda – Welcome to Connect! There are lots of people here with great experience to share. I'm wondering how long ago was your partial knee replacement? If it was just a short time, I think you can look forward to great improvement. I'm also wondering what kind of pain meds you are taking? For me, it was important to take my pain meds before PT – otherwise it hurt too much to really accomplish anything. I've heard some people who tried to get off the pain meds too soon and they regretted it later when PT didn't work as well.

I just had a total knee replacement in January and the difference between my flex & extension leaving the hospital vs. now after one month is major. I'm at 128 degrees flexion, but I'll say this – there are a lot of people on this forum who never even get to 120 but end up being perfectly comfortable with getting around and doing their regular activities. Also, you asked about use of the walker, I was off the walker in my 2nd week when I started using a cane. At this point, I'm walking around the house w/o the cane, but I use it when I go outside or in the evenings when my knee is more tired.

Here is an article about manipulation under anesthesia (MUA).
https://www.mayoclinic.org/medical-professionals/orthopedic-surgery/news/animal-models-aid-study-of-arthrofibrosis-after-tka/mac-20429402

I'm hoping you feel better every day. Best of luck.

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@debbraw

Hi @dsoda – Welcome to Connect! There are lots of people here with great experience to share. I'm wondering how long ago was your partial knee replacement? If it was just a short time, I think you can look forward to great improvement. I'm also wondering what kind of pain meds you are taking? For me, it was important to take my pain meds before PT – otherwise it hurt too much to really accomplish anything. I've heard some people who tried to get off the pain meds too soon and they regretted it later when PT didn't work as well.

I just had a total knee replacement in January and the difference between my flex & extension leaving the hospital vs. now after one month is major. I'm at 128 degrees flexion, but I'll say this – there are a lot of people on this forum who never even get to 120 but end up being perfectly comfortable with getting around and doing their regular activities. Also, you asked about use of the walker, I was off the walker in my 2nd week when I started using a cane. At this point, I'm walking around the house w/o the cane, but I use it when I go outside or in the evenings when my knee is more tired.

Here is an article about manipulation under anesthesia (MUA).
https://www.mayoclinic.org/medical-professionals/orthopedic-surgery/news/animal-models-aid-study-of-arthrofibrosis-after-tka/mac-20429402

I'm hoping you feel better every day. Best of luck.

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I am nearly 11 months out from total knee replacement, I am 96 degrees flexion. I long to be over 100 degrees…..and beyond. I have so much pain

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@dsoda

Hi, I'm 44 I just had a makoplasty, a partial knee replacememt on my left knee, I cant get it to bend past 70 degrees and its 2 and a half weeks out of surgery, I've been reading posts and it seems like some people make scar tissue more than others. Is there a way to fond out if that is the problem?
My surgeon said at the 5 week mark if I cant move it to 90 degrees he will put me under and manipulate it, that scares me though…

What is that like? Is it painful? Can you continue moving it when you wake up? Will you just make more scar tissue ?

I should be more aggressive at home but it hurts, it does not want to bend, the pain upon bending is enormous and then straightening it out is bad.

I can straighten my knee to negative 4 degrees which they tell me is good, it's just the bending that has me in a panic.

** also how mong does it take to be able to passively bend the knee …? They can push it painfully to 80 degrees but I cant just sit down at 70 or 80 I sit at like 40 or 60 degrees.

Also how long till I'm off I'm Walker?

ANY advice help or stories or explanations would be so grateful. I am terrified i made a mistake by doing this surgery and now I'll never bend my knee or be in constant pain or jave multiple surgeries.

I really cant go through another SURGERY

Thanks,

Deb

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The knee manipulation isn't that bad you are a sleep there is no cutting it is sore for a day or so but not to bad . But mine only worked for a few days then right back to being swollen and painful

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@dsoda

Hi, I'm 44 I just had a makoplasty, a partial knee replacememt on my left knee, I cant get it to bend past 70 degrees and its 2 and a half weeks out of surgery, I've been reading posts and it seems like some people make scar tissue more than others. Is there a way to fond out if that is the problem?
My surgeon said at the 5 week mark if I cant move it to 90 degrees he will put me under and manipulate it, that scares me though…

What is that like? Is it painful? Can you continue moving it when you wake up? Will you just make more scar tissue ?

I should be more aggressive at home but it hurts, it does not want to bend, the pain upon bending is enormous and then straightening it out is bad.

I can straighten my knee to negative 4 degrees which they tell me is good, it's just the bending that has me in a panic.

** also how mong does it take to be able to passively bend the knee …? They can push it painfully to 80 degrees but I cant just sit down at 70 or 80 I sit at like 40 or 60 degrees.

Also how long till I'm off I'm Walker?

ANY advice help or stories or explanations would be so grateful. I am terrified i made a mistake by doing this surgery and now I'll never bend my knee or be in constant pain or jave multiple surgeries.

I really cant go through another SURGERY

Thanks,

Deb

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@dsoda Many on this site know more than I do especially about MUA … but isn't that kind of fast to go to a MUA? 2.5 weeks is SO so early in this process. Are you in frequent PT 2 or 3 times a week and doing heel slides in bed and other gradual exercises 3-4 times a day? It's so key to do frequent movement and exercises at home. I took real pain killers to make the exercise less painful. And you're icing a lot? Good luck.

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@gator1965

I am nearly 11 months out from total knee replacement, I am 96 degrees flexion. I long to be over 100 degrees…..and beyond. I have so much pain

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@gator1965 That must be so discouraging to be in pain still after 11 months. What does your doctor say about that? I was in pain for about 6 weeks following my TKR in October 2017 and my doctor was seeing me frequently until the pain resolved. I have no idea what he planned to do if it did not, but he did appear to be concerned that I still had considerable pain at that point. Thankfully it lifted quite suddenly at about 6 weeks and less than two weeks later I was walking all over the place, comfortably. If your doctor is not concerned, I would get a consult with a different ortho surgeon.
JK

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@contentandwell

@gator1965 That must be so discouraging to be in pain still after 11 months. What does your doctor say about that? I was in pain for about 6 weeks following my TKR in October 2017 and my doctor was seeing me frequently until the pain resolved. I have no idea what he planned to do if it did not, but he did appear to be concerned that I still had considerable pain at that point. Thankfully it lifted quite suddenly at about 6 weeks and less than two weeks later I was walking all over the place, comfortably. If your doctor is not concerned, I would get a consult with a different ortho surgeon.
JK

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Very good and intelligent advice.

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@contentandwell

@gator1965 That must be so discouraging to be in pain still after 11 months. What does your doctor say about that? I was in pain for about 6 weeks following my TKR in October 2017 and my doctor was seeing me frequently until the pain resolved. I have no idea what he planned to do if it did not, but he did appear to be concerned that I still had considerable pain at that point. Thankfully it lifted quite suddenly at about 6 weeks and less than two weeks later I was walking all over the place, comfortably. If your doctor is not concerned, I would get a consult with a different ortho surgeon.
JK

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I have been discharged by the orthopaedic surgeon in December and the physio last week. Sadly no one seems interested in the on going pain, so probably I just need to learn to live with it. Even my GP, seems to be happy to prescribe repeat prescriptions for baclofen and amitriptyline. So I guess that I need to wait to see if the pain resolves?

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@gator1965 I'm upset that you feel the need to resign to "ongoing pain" and "living with it." Even though my surgeon has a great reputation, I sometimes feel as though surgeons think their job is over once the operation is over. And, I'm upset because I'm where you are and am contemplating my next move. I think when I see my surgeon next I'm simply going to state "We need to get to the bottom of why I'm still in pain." What do you think would happen if you said that to your doc/s? I really, really empathize! P.S. I'm 7 months out.

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You also have the option of getting a second opinion.

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@dsoda

Hi, I'm 44 I just had a makoplasty, a partial knee replacememt on my left knee, I cant get it to bend past 70 degrees and its 2 and a half weeks out of surgery, I've been reading posts and it seems like some people make scar tissue more than others. Is there a way to fond out if that is the problem?
My surgeon said at the 5 week mark if I cant move it to 90 degrees he will put me under and manipulate it, that scares me though…

What is that like? Is it painful? Can you continue moving it when you wake up? Will you just make more scar tissue ?

I should be more aggressive at home but it hurts, it does not want to bend, the pain upon bending is enormous and then straightening it out is bad.

I can straighten my knee to negative 4 degrees which they tell me is good, it's just the bending that has me in a panic.

** also how mong does it take to be able to passively bend the knee …? They can push it painfully to 80 degrees but I cant just sit down at 70 or 80 I sit at like 40 or 60 degrees.

Also how long till I'm off I'm Walker?

ANY advice help or stories or explanations would be so grateful. I am terrified i made a mistake by doing this surgery and now I'll never bend my knee or be in constant pain or jave multiple surgeries.

I really cant go through another SURGERY

Thanks,

Deb

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I'm not sure on recovery for a partial but I just had my second total knee replacement done. 70 degrees at 2 weeks is fantastic. Allow yourself to heal and do the therapy. It's a process and with patience you will be happier. Everybody is different on healing and moving off a walker. I took my cane to therapy with my walker and told them it's time. I was at my 2nd week appt. My therapist (s) follow your lead on that. If your gait is good and you can support your weight it's a good time to ask about the cane. I cried every day at my 3-wk mark, begging the God's to take the surgery back. They ignored me and within 3 mths I had my life back, pain free and never regretted it. You got this!

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@dkapustin

You also have the option of getting a second opinion.

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That is a bit difficult when I paid privately to have the surgery. I cannot afford to have a second opinion, the initial surgery cost £12k

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