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?

@gator1965

My knee flexion was 70 degrees in September pre arthrolysis , 5 months after TKreplacement. It is worth while having the surgery, I am back at work full time as a nurse, but I do still have neuropathic pain.
I have had several physiotherapists, my current one seems to understand arthrofibrosis, he is now working on my muscle weakness

Jump to this post

@gator1965 My flex is about 115 so I have a lot less to gain than you did, which is why I hesitate to do lysis. Also, unlike you with neuropathic pain, I do not have any pain most of the time. Last weekend I did have some minor pain after walking a lot all over NYC.

I am glad that your physiotherapist is helping, it seems as if some help very little. I hope with that help you will be able to get rid of the pain. I have had a couple of good physical therapists over the year, but more that were not very helpful.
JK

REPLY
@tennisgolf

CHANGE OF TOPIC: GALLBLADDER SITUATION ALL DAY TODAY – ATTACK – PAIN – SYMPTOMS – POSSIBLE SURGERY? I have had gallstones for 6 months – started right before TKR. I have managed the few episodes "attacks" by eating smaller meals, few fats, recommended diet. HOWEVER, TODAY MY ATTACK HAS LASTED 8 HOURS. NOT GETTING BETTER. SOME CHILLS. A TINY BIT OF NAUSEA. NO APPETITE. TRIED TEA, TUMERIC, VEGGIES, CRACKERS. HAD SOME CHILLS. A LITTLE DISCOMFORT IN SHOULDERS. Every attack has seemed different – but they were ok. HOWEVER, THIS ONE IS NOT O.K. More intense; more symptoms. I do not fear surgery. But I have read many complications and problems in the Mayo Clinic forums. It is not as easy as people think. There can be complications post surgery. I am furious about losing a body part; especially when I am basically healthy and active. I do "admit" to being over 70 yrs. old, but let's not dwell on that as to me it is not an issue. I have seen 2 gastroenterologists. Both say "HAVE IT REMOVED". I am doing last-minute research on lining up potential surgeons. I found one, recommended by my TKR Dr., who, among other things, has Advanced Laparoscopic skills according to his Bio. He is young-ish (maybe 40???). Another is much older – has 30+ yrs. of related experience. Now, I am the last person to be age biased, but sorry to say, I am looking for middle aged – although experience is crucial I realize. Sorry to go on and on – but no surgeons I find on internet list "gallbladder" as a specialty. They list "abdominal or laparoscopic or pediatrics or other specialties. Any suggestions?
I would try to withstand the pain if there wasn't the threat of waiting too long when laparoscopic is no longer an option. (This is a crazy way to do medical research I know – all sort of last minute.) Not my style. (I have had 2 successful recent TKRs. Also abdominal surgery 35 years ago.) As you can see, I am not prepared for this…..

Jump to this post

@tennisgolf I agree with the others, that a different thread would probably have more info for you, but I did want to reassure you that I do know a few people who have had gallbladder surgery and been very happy that they did. After the surgery, they were able to eat many more things than they were before. I believe that gallbladder removal is done by general surgeons, and perhaps some gastroenterologists are surgeons also, I am not certain of that.

I have no gallbladder because when you have a liver transplant they take the gallbladder too (they are attached) and do not include that with the transplanted liver. Not having one has not been a problem at all, I have no eating restrictions due to that.
JK

REPLY

I’m three weeks postop has anyone had their platelets elevate after surgery .

REPLY

Hi @sandie2749 – Yes, I had it 3 weeks after my last TKR (Jan 2019). I only knew it because I developed a reaction to the Celebrex and had to go to the emergency room. My Orthopedic Surgeon said it was nothing to worry about that soon after surgery. How did you find out that you had an elevated level? Were you having other problems?

REPLY
@debbraw

Hi @sandie2749 – Yes, I had it 3 weeks after my last TKR (Jan 2019). I only knew it because I developed a reaction to the Celebrex and had to go to the emergency room. My Orthopedic Surgeon said it was nothing to worry about that soon after surgery. How did you find out that you had an elevated level? Were you having other problems?

Jump to this post

Thank you for your reply and yes I have put in a foot neuropathy however I did have anemia but that has gone away and platelets are at 539. Other than that rehab is going amazing and I don’t even need a cane at this point

REPLY
@sandie2749

I’m three weeks postop has anyone had their platelets elevate after surgery .

Jump to this post

@sandie2749 If my platelets were elevated I was not aware of it. I doubt they did because I have monthly lab work and I didn't notice any changes, and I always check my platelets because I had a low platelet problem for years before cirrhosis was diagnosed. Since my liver transplant it's low-normal or just under the range.

I'm happy to hear that your rehab is going well. I dropped using a walker and then a cane fairly quickly also. You have foot neuropathy now? I presume that is a temporary thing until you are fully healed. From what I have heard on here, it can be pretty painful.
JK

REPLY
@contentandwell

@sandie2749 If my platelets were elevated I was not aware of it. I doubt they did because I have monthly lab work and I didn't notice any changes, and I always check my platelets because I had a low platelet problem for years before cirrhosis was diagnosed. Since my liver transplant it's low-normal or just under the range.

I'm happy to hear that your rehab is going well. I dropped using a walker and then a cane fairly quickly also. You have foot neuropathy now? I presume that is a temporary thing until you are fully healed. From what I have heard on here, it can be pretty painful.
JK

Jump to this post

The neuropathy isn’t as painful as it is aggravating, I can still walk OK however I have been icing icing and icing ,I think that it’s helping a lot

REPLY
@cheris

Hi I had total knee replacement 10 months ago. Lots of swelling. Went to PT had deep tissue massage. VERY painful I felt like I had a very tight band around my knee making it hard to move.. I used a recumbent cross trainer which helped a lot. Getting into the pool and walking had an immediate effect on bringing down the swelling. After 3 months I did fairly well. I was bothered for a long time with sciatic pain making it hard to sit and ride in a car. I had second knee replaced 8 weeks ago. Almost no swelling very good range of motion right after the operation. Doing exercises twice a day and icing 3 time a day. This time around so much better. Some stiffness in knee but nothing compared to last time. My only problem is the hip/butt pain is back but not as bad. Has anyone else had this problem???

Jump to this post

Hi Cheris. I had my TKR 5 mths ago. Same results as you had…swelling, tight banding, stiffness and extreme locked spams of IT band, hip and SI joint in my butt. I've gone to PT for 5 mths now and I do the exercises on my own as well. I have had numerous "extreme" surgeries with instrumentation on my spine and rt. pelvis which went through total reconstruction at Mayo in 2003. I have never developed scar tissue and always diligently done my PT, and insisted on more to full range of motion was achieved. My knee surgery has also left me with a inbalanced state and I've fallen a number of times. I have a "popping' sound and feeling between my knee and my hip and it's constant when I take a walk. Knee and lower leg still very swollen and I ice 2-3 X day. Years ago, I locked my shoulder with a fall, and was scheduled to have the scar tissue broken by a surgeon. I was moving a very large painting and frame begain to twist and I couldn't just let it go so I held on. As my arm raised up and slightly back, I heard and felt a loud pop. That was it and I then had free range of movement in my shoulder again. I would do the same to break the scar tissue in my knee if I knew it would solve my full range of motion issue and was safe, but not certain how to accomplish. My surgeon is an older surgeon and he offers no advice on how to manage with the scar tissue and hasn't mentioned lazar treatments. Has anyone else experienced this and if so how did you rectify the situation and regain your full movement? Thank you for your suggestions….my life is on hold and I live alone and must manage caring for my home, dogs, property as well as my health. I'm very discouraged at this point and it only seems to be getting worse with the falls. I appreciate any advice. Thanks so much.

REPLY
@amberpep

Hi there …. yes, I’ve had scar tissue develop also. It developed slowly over time, but by the time I hit the 1 year mark, my surgeon went in – arthroscopically – and cleaned it up. But, it never was right, and in another year I had to have a revision – a totally new replacement. Since then, my knee could not be any better. I don’t know why this happens to some and not to others … but after several other options had been tried, including the arthroscopic surgery, I opted to just do the revision …. I’m glad I did.
abby

Jump to this post

Hello Amberpep, I had bilateral knee replacement a little over a year ago and did very well at the time but now I seem to be losing more and more range of motion. I am just curious what your ROM was before your new replacement and what it is now? Just trying to figure out what my “new normal” may be! Thanks in advance!

REPLY
@newkneesx2

Hello Amberpep, I had bilateral knee replacement a little over a year ago and did very well at the time but now I seem to be losing more and more range of motion. I am just curious what your ROM was before your new replacement and what it is now? Just trying to figure out what my “new normal” may be! Thanks in advance!

Jump to this post

@newkneesx2 I too lost some of my ROM. When I finished up with my home PT it was at 120 and the therapist was confident that it would improve and probably reach 125. My outpatient therapist was stymied though because my ortho wanted "gentle PT". The in-house therapist had worked with patients of my doctor before so he knew how to accommodate his desire, and he had a great deal of respect for him because he had seen such success. I should have just stayed with the exercises he had given me.
JK

REPLY
@killerbees

Hi Cheris. I had my TKR 5 mths ago. Same results as you had…swelling, tight banding, stiffness and extreme locked spams of IT band, hip and SI joint in my butt. I've gone to PT for 5 mths now and I do the exercises on my own as well. I have had numerous "extreme" surgeries with instrumentation on my spine and rt. pelvis which went through total reconstruction at Mayo in 2003. I have never developed scar tissue and always diligently done my PT, and insisted on more to full range of motion was achieved. My knee surgery has also left me with a inbalanced state and I've fallen a number of times. I have a "popping' sound and feeling between my knee and my hip and it's constant when I take a walk. Knee and lower leg still very swollen and I ice 2-3 X day. Years ago, I locked my shoulder with a fall, and was scheduled to have the scar tissue broken by a surgeon. I was moving a very large painting and frame begain to twist and I couldn't just let it go so I held on. As my arm raised up and slightly back, I heard and felt a loud pop. That was it and I then had free range of movement in my shoulder again. I would do the same to break the scar tissue in my knee if I knew it would solve my full range of motion issue and was safe, but not certain how to accomplish. My surgeon is an older surgeon and he offers no advice on how to manage with the scar tissue and hasn't mentioned lazar treatments. Has anyone else experienced this and if so how did you rectify the situation and regain your full movement? Thank you for your suggestions….my life is on hold and I live alone and must manage caring for my home, dogs, property as well as my health. I'm very discouraged at this point and it only seems to be getting worse with the falls. I appreciate any advice. Thanks so much.

Jump to this post

Killerbees: I had bilateral TKR three years ago and experienced problems with scar tissue from the beginning. After undergoing manipulation under anesthesia six weeks after my TKRs I obtained ROM of 117 degrees in both knees by the end of my PT. After this initial success I have experienced an ongoing loss of ROM and now am down to 67 degrees on one knee and 80 degrees on the other. I did try a series of 25 laser treatments, but did not see any improvement. I am now considering s lysis procedure as a last resort.

REPLY
@exflyer

Killerbees: I had bilateral TKR three years ago and experienced problems with scar tissue from the beginning. After undergoing manipulation under anesthesia six weeks after my TKRs I obtained ROM of 117 degrees in both knees by the end of my PT. After this initial success I have experienced an ongoing loss of ROM and now am down to 67 degrees on one knee and 80 degrees on the other. I did try a series of 25 laser treatments, but did not see any improvement. I am now considering s lysis procedure as a last resort.

Jump to this post

@exflyer that’s a huge loss of ROM. if you do go ahead with lysis I will be very interested in hearing about. I have discussed this with my doctor but decided it was not worth it for me. My flex is @115.
JK

REPLY

My knee replacement was in January. I’m still having issues with scar tissue. I had a total manipulation done & that helped for only 2 days. I’ve been going thru months of therapy. Looking for suggestions or input from others.

REPLY

Hi @debbie64131 – Welcome to Connect! You found a good thread here with lots of people who have experienced issues similar to what you mention with scar tissue. I also had a TKR in January and thankfully, my recovery was pretty smooth with no scar tissue issues. Even with that said, I did really benefit from acupuncture and I have loved being able to get in the pool and do my exercises there. So much easier. I'm going to tag a few people who may be able to share some of their insights with TKR recovery and scar tissue – @babette, @gator1965 and @ellerbracke. Meantime, have you tried acupuncture, water therapy or any of the "alternative" therapies?

REPLY
@debbraw

Hi @debbie64131 – Welcome to Connect! You found a good thread here with lots of people who have experienced issues similar to what you mention with scar tissue. I also had a TKR in January and thankfully, my recovery was pretty smooth with no scar tissue issues. Even with that said, I did really benefit from acupuncture and I have loved being able to get in the pool and do my exercises there. So much easier. I'm going to tag a few people who may be able to share some of their insights with TKR recovery and scar tissue – @babette, @gator1965 and @ellerbracke. Meantime, have you tried acupuncture, water therapy or any of the "alternative" therapies?

Jump to this post

Thanks so much for reaching out to me. I have done water therapy & it works great while I’m in the pool but it doesn’t take long after I go home for the bands to come back. I’ve had months of therapy but I haven’t tried acupuncture.

REPLY
Please login or register to post a reply.