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?

@debbraw

Wow.. @bamasaban3601 – I am so sorry to hear about your limited range of motion. I know that must be so discouraging. I had two TKR's and thankfully did not have the issues of scar tissue, but even without that, the recovery was challenging enough. I can't imagine just 10 degrees of flexion. Are the doctors giving you any recommendations – surgery, PT?

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Surgery mentioned, arthrolysis, in October or so. Waiting this out is insanity. Most days are just passing time. This is not a way to live, but when there is no other choice, you do it.

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@dduke

It was a closed procedure. You can convert an existing street bike with a $50 stand on Amazon or build one with 2 x 4's. It really helps to have the bike. Whenever I feel it tight, I can bike for 15 minutes.

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I just got a small used stationary bike on Facebook marketplace for $40. I can’t use it yet, but after my arthroscopy I plan on doing just what you did, every 3 hours, 10 minutes, round the clock. When you’ve walked thru hell, there’s no reason to walk thru it again!

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@dduke

I had to wait six months before arthrolysis. My DR. was concerned about infection. Outpatient, lasted about two hours because there was so much scar tissue. Aggressive PT (I even used my exercise bike for 10 minutes every three hours, set the alarm during the night). I had an MUA scheduled, Dr. wanted to scope me and if he found a lot of scar tissue he would perform lysis. Well, he found a lot of scar tissue and told my wife, while I was still under, that there was no way I would have broken through all that myself. Got 110 right away, had to work hard to get to 120. Some of the scar tissue has come back after a year.

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Are you happy with the results of your arthrolysis procedure? I too am severely impacted by excessive scar tissue in both knees three years post TKR. I have tried laser treatments with no relief and have revisited PT twice after my initial recovery, but the scar tissue comes back stronger and tighter than ever. I just consulted with an Orthopedic surgeon who specializes in treating failed knee replacements but after he reviewed my history and examined my knees he said that he did not recommend undergoing lysis because everything in my knees was normal except for the scar tissue and undergoing lysis increased the risk of infection and the fact that the scar tissue would probably return following a lysis procedure. My scar tissue has severely limited my range of motion and causes constant pain, so I really don’t want to accept my current condition as the best I can hope for!

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@exflyer

Are you happy with the results of your arthrolysis procedure? I too am severely impacted by excessive scar tissue in both knees three years post TKR. I have tried laser treatments with no relief and have revisited PT twice after my initial recovery, but the scar tissue comes back stronger and tighter than ever. I just consulted with an Orthopedic surgeon who specializes in treating failed knee replacements but after he reviewed my history and examined my knees he said that he did not recommend undergoing lysis because everything in my knees was normal except for the scar tissue and undergoing lysis increased the risk of infection and the fact that the scar tissue would probably return following a lysis procedure. My scar tissue has severely limited my range of motion and causes constant pain, so I really don’t want to accept my current condition as the best I can hope for!

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Arthroscopic lysis minimizes the chance of infection. How else are you going to get rid of the scar tissue? The only cases I have heard of is when someone fell and had a traumatic injury which broke the scar tissue. Constant personal and professional PT is crucial to making it work.

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@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

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What is a revision and what do they do?

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Has anyone had or tried Ashtyn treatment? I read it’s highly effective. I had replacement surgery March 15 and scar tissue formed. Had manual manipulation May 23 and scar tissue came back even worse. Waiting to see surgeon again August 29th to see what we do now. Need this to stop! Hurts all the time, disrupts sleep and range of motion is getting worse! Saddest time of my whole life!

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@katp

I just got a small used stationary bike on Facebook marketplace for $40. I can’t use it yet, but after my arthroscopy I plan on doing just what you did, every 3 hours, 10 minutes, round the clock. When you’ve walked thru hell, there’s no reason to walk thru it again!

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@katp – A stationary bike was a lifesaver for me. And even if you can't make it go all the way around, if you just push forward and backward as far as you can, it's good exercise. Could you try that?

@sparky233 – I am so sorry to hear about your pain and how long you have to wait to get an appointment for another assessment. Do you have any kind of pain meds to help?

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@debbraw

@katp – A stationary bike was a lifesaver for me. And even if you can't make it go all the way around, if you just push forward and backward as far as you can, it's good exercise. Could you try that?

@sparky233 – I am so sorry to hear about your pain and how long you have to wait to get an appointment for another assessment. Do you have any kind of pain meds to help?

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Thank you.

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@sparky233

Has anyone had or tried Ashtyn treatment? I read it’s highly effective. I had replacement surgery March 15 and scar tissue formed. Had manual manipulation May 23 and scar tissue came back even worse. Waiting to see surgeon again August 29th to see what we do now. Need this to stop! Hurts all the time, disrupts sleep and range of motion is getting worse! Saddest time of my whole life!

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My pt treatment includes what they call scrapping. I saw the grass on and astym and 5hey all seem pretty similar. With what is happening to us it hardly seems possible that this will help. You describe exactly what I experience. Some days I feel like I might lose my mind. My dynamic brace is annoying but also calming when my knee gets crazy. These discussion boards help when the going gets tough. Thanks to everyone.

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@katp

My pt treatment includes what they call scrapping. I saw the grass on and astym and 5hey all seem pretty similar. With what is happening to us it hardly seems possible that this will help. You describe exactly what I experience. Some days I feel like I might lose my mind. My dynamic brace is annoying but also calming when my knee gets crazy. These discussion boards help when the going gets tough. Thanks to everyone.

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What is scrapping?

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@zakcat

What is scrapping?

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Just like the astym or graston, my pt uses a gel to lubricate and draws a metal tool, like a butter knife edge back and forth across the skin of my thigh, knee and calf. It the stimulation of nerve endings that are hoped to realign the fibers of connective tissue to move. I don’t see how it could possibly work on adhesions like we have. Can a moderator help here?

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@dduke

Arthroscopic lysis minimizes the chance of infection. How else are you going to get rid of the scar tissue? The only cases I have heard of is when someone fell and had a traumatic injury which broke the scar tissue. Constant personal and professional PT is crucial to making it work.

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So far you are the only example of regained function. Where did you get treatment?

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@katp

So far you are the only example of regained function. Where did you get treatment?

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Dr. William Dunbar, Sansum Clinic, Santa Barbara, CA. He had studied in New Zealand where this procedure was being used several years ago.

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@sparky233

Has anyone had or tried Ashtyn treatment? I read it’s highly effective. I had replacement surgery March 15 and scar tissue formed. Had manual manipulation May 23 and scar tissue came back even worse. Waiting to see surgeon again August 29th to see what we do now. Need this to stop! Hurts all the time, disrupts sleep and range of motion is getting worse! Saddest time of my whole life!

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I did have this done worked great for first few days then the scar tissue came right back only a little worse

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@dduke

I had to wait six months before arthrolysis. My DR. was concerned about infection. Outpatient, lasted about two hours because there was so much scar tissue. Aggressive PT (I even used my exercise bike for 10 minutes every three hours, set the alarm during the night). I had an MUA scheduled, Dr. wanted to scope me and if he found a lot of scar tissue he would perform lysis. Well, he found a lot of scar tissue and told my wife, while I was still under, that there was no way I would have broken through all that myself. Got 110 right away, had to work hard to get to 120. Some of the scar tissue has come back after a year.

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Hi, it’s me again. Sorry to keep bugging you. I am in a lot of pain right now. You said you had the arthrolysis after 6 month. I am at 10 weeks and the pain is excruciating. How did you make it to 6 months? I have pain meds but the side effects are awful. The adhesions pull and rip. My leg is absolutely straight. If you have any tips, I would be so grateful. I’m in PA so your CA doc would probably not be an option. I don’t think I can do this. I will call my current OS tomorrow. In fact, I will email tonight. Did you h@ve any shots of cortisone into the bad knee? I’m grasping at anything. Thank you so much for all you’ve done for me so far.

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