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?

@katp

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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@katp I really feel for you. I can only imagine what you are going through. I hope you do find someone more convenient for you and that you can put this behind you.
Is it definitely what was diagnosed? It sounds too painful to be that. Have you sought a second opinion? I am sorry if this has been discussed before and I missed it, but the desperation in your message caught my eye.
JK

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My biggest therapy was walking a lot, doing stair lunges, wall crawl, I had cortisone but not until after about four months. It is a struggle and a lot of pain. You will get through this. What was discouraging for me was to see people who had the same surgery, never exercised, did not do much P.T. and had excellent results. I thought, what in the hell am I doing wrong? We were just blessed with this scar tissue problem. It just makes you a stronger person.

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@dduke

My biggest therapy was walking a lot, doing stair lunges, wall crawl, I had cortisone but not until after about four months. It is a struggle and a lot of pain. You will get through this. What was discouraging for me was to see people who had the same surgery, never exercised, did not do much P.T. and had excellent results. I thought, what in the hell am I doing wrong? We were just blessed with this scar tissue problem. It just makes you a stronger person.

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Man, I though the same thing. I kept hearing people say, "don't compare yourself to others" but I just couldn't resist. People claiming that on day 4 after the surgery they were walking around the block and I was struggling to get to the bathroom. Week 2 and they were out having lunch and running errands. I almost fainted from agony riding in the car to get my stitches out and then almost fainted after taking a shower. LOL If there is one thing I've leaned, that is everyone really is different when it comes to this surgery. I don't know if its just the persons body or if its the surgeon or a combination of both. I'm a little over 6 months PO and still have a tremendous amount of discomfort and some days pain. My knee functions well ( I haven't had it measured since I was discharged from PT and I am not a fan of focusing on the numbers, the ROM can change in a day) but I'm not happy with the amount of discomfort I'm feeling. I'm giving it more time before seeking a second opinion. Seems like surgeons just care if it looks good on the outside (functions well) they aren't that interested in how you're actually feeling. 🙂

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@contentandwell

@katp I really feel for you. I can only imagine what you are going through. I hope you do find someone more convenient for you and that you can put this behind you.
Is it definitely what was diagnosed? It sounds too painful to be that. Have you sought a second opinion? I am sorry if this has been discussed before and I missed it, but the desperation in your message caught my eye.
JK

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I’m calling for second opinion today. I am desperate. I’m wondering if antidepressants might help? Yes, the pain is wearing me down. Thank you.

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@katp

I’m calling for second opinion today. I am desperate. I’m wondering if antidepressants might help? Yes, the pain is wearing me down. Thank you.

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@katp Believe me, yes the pain and inability to do the things you use to can cause depression. I sought out counseling instead of asking my MD for another pill to take. She gave my ways to focus on more positive things in my life and to journal all my feelings everyday. It has helped, but it is a daily process. Keep looking for answers but think of what is good right now in your life! Good luck and keep us posted.

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@katp

I’m calling for second opinion today. I am desperate. I’m wondering if antidepressants might help? Yes, the pain is wearing me down. Thank you.

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A friend has bilateral knee replacements in April, and she is suffering too. And can't take pain meds except for Tylenol! She is depressed too. I am 2 months post TKR, and my knee hurt all night again. They tell me it gets better! Maybe Its a waiting game?

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@doodles418

@katp Believe me, yes the pain and inability to do the things you use to can cause depression. I sought out counseling instead of asking my MD for another pill to take. She gave my ways to focus on more positive things in my life and to journal all my feelings everyday. It has helped, but it is a daily process. Keep looking for answers but think of what is good right now in your life! Good luck and keep us posted.

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Wise advice! But it's hard. I'm seeing that pain lasts a lot longer after knee surgery than they say! At least misery has company! I had though I was abnormal…

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@zakcat

A friend has bilateral knee replacements in April, and she is suffering too. And can't take pain meds except for Tylenol! She is depressed too. I am 2 months post TKR, and my knee hurt all night again. They tell me it gets better! Maybe Its a waiting game?

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Someone told me that the surgery is now as exact as pulling teeth. The recovery is NOT! For me, the issue is that since all of us heal differently, the rehab protocol is one size fits all and so what helped most actually caused me more trauma. This scar tissue formation seems to happen to more people than in the past. Or it could be more tkr s are being done poorly. Who knows. I think doctor’s should see patients in office evert 2 weeks for the first 2 months. I have lots of time to think up stuff. I’ll stop now.

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@katp

Someone told me that the surgery is now as exact as pulling teeth. The recovery is NOT! For me, the issue is that since all of us heal differently, the rehab protocol is one size fits all and so what helped most actually caused me more trauma. This scar tissue formation seems to happen to more people than in the past. Or it could be more tkr s are being done poorly. Who knows. I think doctor’s should see patients in office evert 2 weeks for the first 2 months. I have lots of time to think up stuff. I’ll stop now.

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Good points. And I agree that there should be every 2 week follow ups. It would have helped a friend!

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@katp

Someone told me that the surgery is now as exact as pulling teeth. The recovery is NOT! For me, the issue is that since all of us heal differently, the rehab protocol is one size fits all and so what helped most actually caused me more trauma. This scar tissue formation seems to happen to more people than in the past. Or it could be more tkr s are being done poorly. Who knows. I think doctor’s should see patients in office evert 2 weeks for the first 2 months. I have lots of time to think up stuff. I’ll stop now.

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I agree with dkapustin, I think all these drs only care about their wrk. I had a knee replacement nine weeks ago my knee is doing well however I have had to go to Pain Management, go to the blood dr my primary care and have been in therapy for nine weeks. I developed high blood platelets, sciatica and my foot is totally numb at the bottom of the operative leg . And all these decks keep passing it to somebody else. The pain is excruciating they don’t want to give you meds for the pain and they to keep telling me that it takes a while. My sister had two replacements done and her knees are amazing and no pain’t or issues. I just don’t know what to do anymore going for shots tomorrow for sciatica and if this doesn’t work I’m out of options

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@sandie2749

I agree with dkapustin, I think all these drs only care about their wrk. I had a knee replacement nine weeks ago my knee is doing well however I have had to go to Pain Management, go to the blood dr my primary care and have been in therapy for nine weeks. I developed high blood platelets, sciatica and my foot is totally numb at the bottom of the operative leg . And all these decks keep passing it to somebody else. The pain is excruciating they don’t want to give you meds for the pain and they to keep telling me that it takes a while. My sister had two replacements done and her knees are amazing and no pain’t or issues. I just don’t know what to do anymore going for shots tomorrow for sciatica and if this doesn’t work I’m out of options

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So sorry that you have so much pain. I understand entirely even if my pain is different. I have oxy if I need it as my doc seems to prescribe it. I can not take it at night. It keeps me awake, in a kind of stupor where I have I am scared, like I might die. I don’t need that! I won’t take it after 6 or 7 pm. I will pray for all of us.

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Katp,
I also could not take oxy at night. Try Tylenol PM.

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@sandie2749

I agree with dkapustin, I think all these drs only care about their wrk. I had a knee replacement nine weeks ago my knee is doing well however I have had to go to Pain Management, go to the blood dr my primary care and have been in therapy for nine weeks. I developed high blood platelets, sciatica and my foot is totally numb at the bottom of the operative leg . And all these decks keep passing it to somebody else. The pain is excruciating they don’t want to give you meds for the pain and they to keep telling me that it takes a while. My sister had two replacements done and her knees are amazing and no pain’t or issues. I just don’t know what to do anymore going for shots tomorrow for sciatica and if this doesn’t work I’m out of options

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Have you tried a good chiropractor? I stress good! Not all are.

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@dkapustin

Man, I though the same thing. I kept hearing people say, "don't compare yourself to others" but I just couldn't resist. People claiming that on day 4 after the surgery they were walking around the block and I was struggling to get to the bathroom. Week 2 and they were out having lunch and running errands. I almost fainted from agony riding in the car to get my stitches out and then almost fainted after taking a shower. LOL If there is one thing I've leaned, that is everyone really is different when it comes to this surgery. I don't know if its just the persons body or if its the surgeon or a combination of both. I'm a little over 6 months PO and still have a tremendous amount of discomfort and some days pain. My knee functions well ( I haven't had it measured since I was discharged from PT and I am not a fan of focusing on the numbers, the ROM can change in a day) but I'm not happy with the amount of discomfort I'm feeling. I'm giving it more time before seeking a second opinion. Seems like surgeons just care if it looks good on the outside (functions well) they aren't that interested in how you're actually feeling. 🙂

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@dkapustin I’m sorry to hear you are still having issues. I think you’re smart to not focus on the numbers. When I went to PT I had my flex measured and it was less than the flex on my other knee which was done about six years ago. The strange thing is that functionally the knee with less measured flex seems to work better!

@katp I hope the second opinion is helpful. I’m like you, those opioids keep me awake! I’m glad I’m not the only odd one.

@doodles418 Your suggestions are great in theory but more difficult to actually practice. I’m going through a lot of pain right now from a femur fracture and even though I appreciate how good my life is overall, I do get depressed by the pain, and knowing I will not be doing very well for my son’s wedding in August. When you are really hurting it’s very difficult to rationalize.
JK

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@contentandwell

@dkapustin I’m sorry to hear you are still having issues. I think you’re smart to not focus on the numbers. When I went to PT I had my flex measured and it was less than the flex on my other knee which was done about six years ago. The strange thing is that functionally the knee with less measured flex seems to work better!

@katp I hope the second opinion is helpful. I’m like you, those opioids keep me awake! I’m glad I’m not the only odd one.

@doodles418 Your suggestions are great in theory but more difficult to actually practice. I’m going through a lot of pain right now from a femur fracture and even though I appreciate how good my life is overall, I do get depressed by the pain, and knowing I will not be doing very well for my son’s wedding in August. When you are really hurting it’s very difficult to rationalize.
JK

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I had my tkr in May exactly because my daughter's wedding is the end of September. I thought I’d be back in action. The focus should be on her, not on me. I hear your frustration and the reality is that life isn’t very good right now. It seems that every moment is filled with what I can’t do. I have a little paper on my kitchen island where I’ve written “focus on what i can do, not what I can’t. “ everyday I struggle with my emotions. Everyday. I hear you.

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