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?

How are you doing now? Did you ever find relief?

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@zakcat

How are you doing now? Did you ever find relief?

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No, going to Pain Management to get shots. I hope they do work

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@sandie2749

No, going to Pain Management to get shots. I hope they do work

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@sandie2749 I recently developed what I believe is sciatica also. I have had the knee on that side replaced but it was in 2012 or 2013 so it is not related to my TKR. What type of shot will you be getting? I have an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon for a cortisone shot for bursitis in the same hip and I am wondering if the sciatica is related to the bursitis. It really does hurt. I have not yet tried these exercises but I plan to. They are supposed to help sciatica. I will be gone for the day today but hope to have time to start doing them tonight.

https://www.healthline.com/health/back-pain/sciatic-stretches

I will be very interested in hearing if the shot helps you. If so I hope I can get the same. When is your appointment?
JK

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@contentandwell

@sandie2749 I recently developed what I believe is sciatica also. I have had the knee on that side replaced but it was in 2012 or 2013 so it is not related to my TKR. What type of shot will you be getting? I have an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon for a cortisone shot for bursitis in the same hip and I am wondering if the sciatica is related to the bursitis. It really does hurt. I have not yet tried these exercises but I plan to. They are supposed to help sciatica. I will be gone for the day today but hope to have time to start doing them tonight.

https://www.healthline.com/health/back-pain/sciatic-stretches

I will be very interested in hearing if the shot helps you. If so I hope I can get the same. When is your appointment?
JK

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I’m pretty sure the shots I’m getting i’m pretty sure the shots I’m getting a Cortizone also, are Cortizone also, I never had this sciatica till after my surgery. I also have the numbness and tingling in my foot of the operative knee. The tingling in numbness in the foot came first right after surgery and then my sciatica started about two weeks later so I don’t know what’s going on

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@sandie2749

I’m pretty sure the shots I’m getting i’m pretty sure the shots I’m getting a Cortizone also, are Cortizone also, I never had this sciatica till after my surgery. I also have the numbness and tingling in my foot of the operative knee. The tingling in numbness in the foot came first right after surgery and then my sciatica started about two weeks later so I don’t know what’s going on

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Hi @sandie2749 – I've had two TKR's and thankfully I didn't have that tingling and numbness that some people report. There is a thread here on Connect about foot neuropathy after knee replacement. You may be interested in reading it here since it sounds like some of your issues are described:
https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/foot-neuropathy-after-total-knee-replacement/
Have you spoken with your physical therapist about the problems?

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@sandie2749

I’m pretty sure the shots I’m getting i’m pretty sure the shots I’m getting a Cortizone also, are Cortizone also, I never had this sciatica till after my surgery. I also have the numbness and tingling in my foot of the operative knee. The tingling in numbness in the foot came first right after surgery and then my sciatica started about two weeks later so I don’t know what’s going on

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Thanks, @sandie2749 I think sciatica is basically a pinched nerve (feel free to correct me on that if I am wrong) so if it came after the TKR it is probably an indirect result of it, perhaps due to sitting a certain way or favoring that leg. That would seem especially possible if it didn’t start until two weeks after the surgery.
No matter the cause, it is darned painful. My pain varies but at times it is extreme. I suspect that sitting on my computer chair may be making it worse so I am trying to do more on my iPod. I much prefer the desktop though.
I didn’t know that they give cortisone shots for it but now I hope that the ortho will do that for me.
I never had tingling or numbness after either of my TKRs but it seems to be a fairly common problem. I hope you find some relief soon. Please let me know if the cortisone shot does help. Of course cortisone shots sometimes miss the mark, and then they are not helpful and I believe they cannot repeat them for a few months. I have had cortisone shots for my persistent bursitis numerous times and many have missed so this time I am going to a doctor in Boston who always seems to succeed. I decided it’s worth the extra time to drive there.
JK

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I go to a really good chiropractor for back and sciatic pain. But you must find a very good one; some are NOT good. Ask around and don't go until three people tell you the one is good. Sciatic pain comes from the lower spine/sacrum.

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Hi, I am 9 weeks from left tkr and have had little to no flexion (maybe got to 60 once forced by pt). My leg is virtually stick straight. Doc says arthrofibrosis and I must wait for 6 months post op for scar tissue removal. I can feel the tight bands, tight wires, and nets around my knee and down into my calf. Sometimes the scar tissue feels like it could tighten hard enough to turn my leg in the other direction. I have so much pain. This is so long to be inactive. My quads will be lost. I’m losing hope. Can aggressive scar tissue formation be linked to autoimmune disorders? I have diagnosed Sjögren’s syndrome by the antibodies, fibromyalgia, and always elevated esr. If so many of us get this aggressive scar tissue there must be some reason for it and then some hope. I keep scouring the Internet. Please keep fighting.

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Not that I wish you more scar tissue, but I’m amazed that someone else can feel the scar tissue grow that quickly! Some days I can feel it increase in the course of a day. My tkr leg feels like an alien is growing right under the skin. It is painful at times. I have never heard of laser treatments for it. Can you tell me more? Very interested. A web link? Thanks.

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@katp

Not that I wish you more scar tissue, but I’m amazed that someone else can feel the scar tissue grow that quickly! Some days I can feel it increase in the course of a day. My tkr leg feels like an alien is growing right under the skin. It is painful at times. I have never heard of laser treatments for it. Can you tell me more? Very interested. A web link? Thanks.

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I also had scar tissue problems. Had the lysis procedure after six months, which helped quite a bit. Some scar tissue has come back. I have a keloid issue, is that prevalent with yours?

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@katp

Hi, I am 9 weeks from left tkr and have had little to no flexion (maybe got to 60 once forced by pt). My leg is virtually stick straight. Doc says arthrofibrosis and I must wait for 6 months post op for scar tissue removal. I can feel the tight bands, tight wires, and nets around my knee and down into my calf. Sometimes the scar tissue feels like it could tighten hard enough to turn my leg in the other direction. I have so much pain. This is so long to be inactive. My quads will be lost. I’m losing hope. Can aggressive scar tissue formation be linked to autoimmune disorders? I have diagnosed Sjögren’s syndrome by the antibodies, fibromyalgia, and always elevated esr. If so many of us get this aggressive scar tissue there must be some reason for it and then some hope. I keep scouring the Internet. Please keep fighting.

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Hi @katp and welcome to Connect.
I’m sorry to hear about the pain you are in from scar tissue. I have had two TKRs and did not experience this. I may have some scar tissue, my flex never reached the desired number, but it has not been painful.
It must be discouraging to have to wait six months before you can get some relief. I hope when that does happen that you will get the relief that you need. I have no idea if this can be linked to autoimmune conditions.
JK

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@katp

Hi, I am 9 weeks from left tkr and have had little to no flexion (maybe got to 60 once forced by pt). My leg is virtually stick straight. Doc says arthrofibrosis and I must wait for 6 months post op for scar tissue removal. I can feel the tight bands, tight wires, and nets around my knee and down into my calf. Sometimes the scar tissue feels like it could tighten hard enough to turn my leg in the other direction. I have so much pain. This is so long to be inactive. My quads will be lost. I’m losing hope. Can aggressive scar tissue formation be linked to autoimmune disorders? I have diagnosed Sjögren’s syndrome by the antibodies, fibromyalgia, and always elevated esr. If so many of us get this aggressive scar tissue there must be some reason for it and then some hope. I keep scouring the Internet. Please keep fighting.

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Hi @katp – I'm sorry to hear about your scar tissue. It must be terribly discouraging. Although I had 2 TKRs, I'm thankful I didn't have the issue of scar tissue. Do you know why you have to wait 6 months? Also, I'm curious about what procedure they are going to use to remove the scar tissue. Have you already had a manipulation under anesthesia?

REPLY
@contentandwell

Thanks, @sandie2749 I think sciatica is basically a pinched nerve (feel free to correct me on that if I am wrong) so if it came after the TKR it is probably an indirect result of it, perhaps due to sitting a certain way or favoring that leg. That would seem especially possible if it didn’t start until two weeks after the surgery.
No matter the cause, it is darned painful. My pain varies but at times it is extreme. I suspect that sitting on my computer chair may be making it worse so I am trying to do more on my iPod. I much prefer the desktop though.
I didn’t know that they give cortisone shots for it but now I hope that the ortho will do that for me.
I never had tingling or numbness after either of my TKRs but it seems to be a fairly common problem. I hope you find some relief soon. Please let me know if the cortisone shot does help. Of course cortisone shots sometimes miss the mark, and then they are not helpful and I believe they cannot repeat them for a few months. I have had cortisone shots for my persistent bursitis numerous times and many have missed so this time I am going to a doctor in Boston who always seems to succeed. I decided it’s worth the extra time to drive there.
JK

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Hi JK Thanks for the info, I’m going for my shots and the 30th I will let you know how they work. If not I have a nephew in Boston who is a podiatrist however his dad was an orthopedic, if that doctor works for you please let me know

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@sandie2749 I was so desperate from pain that I moved it up to tomorrow. To do that I have to see the PA, not the doctor but she can give cortisone shots. I am wondering if my bursitis could possibly be the cause of all the pain because I read a test for sciatica on a couple of sites and when I do that I don’t seem to have the pain that would indicate sciatica. I hope I do get some answers and some relief. Today it does feel less like sciatica so probably it is just bursitis.
JK

REPLY
@katp

Hi, I am 9 weeks from left tkr and have had little to no flexion (maybe got to 60 once forced by pt). My leg is virtually stick straight. Doc says arthrofibrosis and I must wait for 6 months post op for scar tissue removal. I can feel the tight bands, tight wires, and nets around my knee and down into my calf. Sometimes the scar tissue feels like it could tighten hard enough to turn my leg in the other direction. I have so much pain. This is so long to be inactive. My quads will be lost. I’m losing hope. Can aggressive scar tissue formation be linked to autoimmune disorders? I have diagnosed Sjögren’s syndrome by the antibodies, fibromyalgia, and always elevated esr. If so many of us get this aggressive scar tissue there must be some reason for it and then some hope. I keep scouring the Internet. Please keep fighting.

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Do you have a good Rheumatologist treating you now? If not, get one!

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