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?

@dkapustin

I'm 7 months PO and still sore and am in discomfort so my surgeon recommended I get the nerve block and then the ablation on my knee. I see them next month. I hope it works for you and I'm willing to try it. I'm just very hesitant to do that before finding out why I am so sore this far out. He has taken X-rays and swears everything looks perfect and the knee functions well. Let's keep each other posted on how that goes!

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Gosh, you have no idea and neither does your doc? Yikes. I suspect that with all the nerve blocks 5hey do, some of us get permanent nerve damage. My son just told me that “watchful waiting” is often the first line in medical treatment. Some have shared with me that somehow magically after awhile, this all goes away. God, I hope so. That’s the reason for waiting 6 months, I guess. It’s always better to do nothing than to do something and get a worse outcome.

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@kibe75

Has the pain management doctor said anything about a nerve ablation? I had knee replacement 1 1/2 years ago and have been in constant pain since (also had taken NSAIDS long term which messed up my stomach to the point I needed gastric bypass surgery). After being told I could no longer take NSAIDS my primary physician prescribed tramadol and referred me to a pain management doctor (by my request as I didn't want to be on narcotic medication any longer than necessary). After battling with the insurance company for 4 months I finally had a diagnostic nerve block last month which took away the pain temporarily. On Friday I go in for an ablation which should help the pain for 1-2 years.

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Wow! Good luck, no, luck is not what we want. Blessings for an excellent outcome!

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Nerve ablation burns the nerve endings to help cut the pain. When I had the block, it didn't affect my skin sensation or motor function at all, just took away the pain from the arthritis/implant. That night I was able to walk 2 miles at my previous normal pace without pain. It was heavenly!

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@dkapustin

I'm 7 months PO and still sore and am in discomfort so my surgeon recommended I get the nerve block and then the ablation on my knee. I see them next month. I hope it works for you and I'm willing to try it. I'm just very hesitant to do that before finding out why I am so sore this far out. He has taken X-rays and swears everything looks perfect and the knee functions well. Let's keep each other posted on how that goes!

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What exactly is an ablation?

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@kibe75

Nerve ablation burns the nerve endings to help cut the pain. When I had the block, it didn't affect my skin sensation or motor function at all, just took away the pain from the arthritis/implant. That night I was able to walk 2 miles at my previous normal pace without pain. It was heavenly!

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How long does it last? Must you wait many months before they'll do it? Is it a difficult procedure? Thanks

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How can they tell it's scar tissue, and not inflammation? How fast can scar tissue grow!

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@sarastafford

I have wanted to ask about my situation for a long time . Thanks in advance for listening. Might want to get some popcorn and a lounge chair the story is amazing to me. In 2009 I got up from the couch and bumped my knee on the coffee table. After three days it was still bothering me so I went and had it looked at. The doctor told me I turn my meniscus as well as stage for arthritis on all sides of my knee. He suggested surgery to repair the meniscus which was performed two weeks after my initial visit. For some reason my knee didn’t respond and was still very very sore and very painful after the procedure. The doctor suggested total knee replacement after six weeks postop from the first procedure. This knee replacement resulted in a tremendous amount of pain difficulty in bending and the build up of excessive scar tissue. I decided to get a second opinion. This doctor was supposed to be the best in the state. After reviewing my case he said that the other doctor had given me a Volkswagen implant but he was going to give me a Cadillac. The results or more scar tissue and more pain. I go to physical therapy and it would be OK for a month or so and then slowly return to my inability to bend it or straighten it. Fast forward to today. Since 2009 I’ve had eight total knee replacements as well as over at least 10 manipulations. During that. On one occasion my knee became septic and the implant was removed while I sat in wheelchair for eight weeks with a pick line. I was also saying during that time a pain medicine physician taking a significant amount of medication. The last surgery performed was a hinged knee surgery. I have fallen numerous times including once where I broke my wrist in three places that required surgery. Currently my knee is worse than it is ever been I am unable to bend it at all I’m unable to get in and out of the vehicle and my quality-of-life is very poor. I can hardly lift my leg up off the floor to put it up on the couch. My knee pain seems to be centralized around my knee cap in the side of my knee I’m also experiencing What feels like electric charges shooting up my leg . Approximately a month and a half ago I want to see my pain management physician who is said the opiate laws have changed and you don’t have cancer so no you you no longer will get any pain medicine . So after seven years I’ve taking medication after two weeks of lowering it he no longer was willing to help me. He did say he would refer me to another pain medicine doctor however why would he give me pain medicine. What is the referral going to indicate that he no longer is willing to give me pain medicine but he would like him to that seem pretty ludicrous to me. So now I have no medicine I can’t walk and I can’t find any resources for help.The pain is excruciating and my surgeon says he no longer can help me. I wished he would’ve said that five surgeries ago. I participated in the program past all my urinalysis test did everything I was supposed to do and yet they claim the laws are preventing them from helping me. I don’t know what to do.
I don’t know how much longer I can deal with a situation without some kind of guidance help ideas or anything.I feel that they abandoned me I feel like they don’t care and it’s very frustrating.

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Have you seen a neurologist? Your story is a horror. My heart goes out to you.

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@zakcat

How long does it last? Must you wait many months before they'll do it? Is it a difficult procedure? Thanks

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I was told that it will last 1-2 years on average. I'm hopeful! The only other option my Ortho surgeon gave me was to redo the knee, but even then couldn't guarantee pain relief. I'm 44 yrs old, I don't want a redo for many years yet so if I can out it off at all with the ablation, I will!

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@zakcat

Have you seen a neurologist? Your story is a horror. My heart goes out to you.

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My doctor doesn’t think that’s an issue. He wanted me to go to family medicine doctor who specializes in pathology. He also wanted to do another manipulation then changed his mind

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@sarastafford

I have wanted to ask about my situation for a long time . Thanks in advance for listening. Might want to get some popcorn and a lounge chair the story is amazing to me. In 2009 I got up from the couch and bumped my knee on the coffee table. After three days it was still bothering me so I went and had it looked at. The doctor told me I turn my meniscus as well as stage for arthritis on all sides of my knee. He suggested surgery to repair the meniscus which was performed two weeks after my initial visit. For some reason my knee didn’t respond and was still very very sore and very painful after the procedure. The doctor suggested total knee replacement after six weeks postop from the first procedure. This knee replacement resulted in a tremendous amount of pain difficulty in bending and the build up of excessive scar tissue. I decided to get a second opinion. This doctor was supposed to be the best in the state. After reviewing my case he said that the other doctor had given me a Volkswagen implant but he was going to give me a Cadillac. The results or more scar tissue and more pain. I go to physical therapy and it would be OK for a month or so and then slowly return to my inability to bend it or straighten it. Fast forward to today. Since 2009 I’ve had eight total knee replacements as well as over at least 10 manipulations. During that. On one occasion my knee became septic and the implant was removed while I sat in wheelchair for eight weeks with a pick line. I was also saying during that time a pain medicine physician taking a significant amount of medication. The last surgery performed was a hinged knee surgery. I have fallen numerous times including once where I broke my wrist in three places that required surgery. Currently my knee is worse than it is ever been I am unable to bend it at all I’m unable to get in and out of the vehicle and my quality-of-life is very poor. I can hardly lift my leg up off the floor to put it up on the couch. My knee pain seems to be centralized around my knee cap in the side of my knee I’m also experiencing What feels like electric charges shooting up my leg . Approximately a month and a half ago I want to see my pain management physician who is said the opiate laws have changed and you don’t have cancer so no you you no longer will get any pain medicine . So after seven years I’ve taking medication after two weeks of lowering it he no longer was willing to help me. He did say he would refer me to another pain medicine doctor however why would he give me pain medicine. What is the referral going to indicate that he no longer is willing to give me pain medicine but he would like him to that seem pretty ludicrous to me. So now I have no medicine I can’t walk and I can’t find any resources for help.The pain is excruciating and my surgeon says he no longer can help me. I wished he would’ve said that five surgeries ago. I participated in the program past all my urinalysis test did everything I was supposed to do and yet they claim the laws are preventing them from helping me. I don’t know what to do.
I don’t know how much longer I can deal with a situation without some kind of guidance help ideas or anything.I feel that they abandoned me I feel like they don’t care and it’s very frustrating.

Jump to this post

Your story is awful. Don’t know where you live, but I would seek out THC/medical marijuana. You have no choice. I have not gone to a doc for a card yet, but I am going to after my next appt next Friday. I’m even a recovering person. I’ve heard that the ideal “place” to be found is where you take the least dose that does not make you stoned (high), but have a feeling of well being. That’s why I sought out the knee replacement! Of course, we all get to choose our limits. Sometimes I feel like I’d rather not live with this mess, but then I have a god cry, tell a friend, snap back, and focus on one small task/victory. God bless you.

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@zakcat

How can they tell it's scar tissue, and not inflammation? How fast can scar tissue grow!

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Not an expert, but my feeling is that it grows quickly. I had a mua and within 3 days my knee was straight again. I would love for all this to be mere swelling. I think it’s probably 70% scar tissue and 30% swelling for me. Mine feel
Iike guitar strings wrapping around my knee in a figure 8. The feeling can change throughout the day.

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@sarastafford

I have wanted to ask about my situation for a long time . Thanks in advance for listening. Might want to get some popcorn and a lounge chair the story is amazing to me. In 2009 I got up from the couch and bumped my knee on the coffee table. After three days it was still bothering me so I went and had it looked at. The doctor told me I turn my meniscus as well as stage for arthritis on all sides of my knee. He suggested surgery to repair the meniscus which was performed two weeks after my initial visit. For some reason my knee didn’t respond and was still very very sore and very painful after the procedure. The doctor suggested total knee replacement after six weeks postop from the first procedure. This knee replacement resulted in a tremendous amount of pain difficulty in bending and the build up of excessive scar tissue. I decided to get a second opinion. This doctor was supposed to be the best in the state. After reviewing my case he said that the other doctor had given me a Volkswagen implant but he was going to give me a Cadillac. The results or more scar tissue and more pain. I go to physical therapy and it would be OK for a month or so and then slowly return to my inability to bend it or straighten it. Fast forward to today. Since 2009 I’ve had eight total knee replacements as well as over at least 10 manipulations. During that. On one occasion my knee became septic and the implant was removed while I sat in wheelchair for eight weeks with a pick line. I was also saying during that time a pain medicine physician taking a significant amount of medication. The last surgery performed was a hinged knee surgery. I have fallen numerous times including once where I broke my wrist in three places that required surgery. Currently my knee is worse than it is ever been I am unable to bend it at all I’m unable to get in and out of the vehicle and my quality-of-life is very poor. I can hardly lift my leg up off the floor to put it up on the couch. My knee pain seems to be centralized around my knee cap in the side of my knee I’m also experiencing What feels like electric charges shooting up my leg . Approximately a month and a half ago I want to see my pain management physician who is said the opiate laws have changed and you don’t have cancer so no you you no longer will get any pain medicine . So after seven years I’ve taking medication after two weeks of lowering it he no longer was willing to help me. He did say he would refer me to another pain medicine doctor however why would he give me pain medicine. What is the referral going to indicate that he no longer is willing to give me pain medicine but he would like him to that seem pretty ludicrous to me. So now I have no medicine I can’t walk and I can’t find any resources for help.The pain is excruciating and my surgeon says he no longer can help me. I wished he would’ve said that five surgeries ago. I participated in the program past all my urinalysis test did everything I was supposed to do and yet they claim the laws are preventing them from helping me. I don’t know what to do.
I don’t know how much longer I can deal with a situation without some kind of guidance help ideas or anything.I feel that they abandoned me I feel like they don’t care and it’s very frustrating.

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Hi @sarastafford – I'm glad you found Connect. And I'm very sorry to hear about all of the pain and difficulty you have had since your knee injury. In a way, our knee issues started in a similar way. It was December 2016, I sat down at my computer to do some paperwork, and when I got ready to get up, I literally couldn't walk. I had to wait for my husband to come home to go up to the attic and find some old crutches we had stored there. It was a torn meniscus. But nothing worked. 4 months later, I had a total knee replacement. I'm happy that mine worked out fine and after recovering, I don't have many problems other than a little loss of balance. But I can definitely feel for what you have been through. If I understand correctly, you surgery was in 2009, you are going to a pain clinic, and they are reducing or eliminating your pain medicine. Is that correct? Are they offering you any options for tapering off?

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@katp

Your story is awful. Don’t know where you live, but I would seek out THC/medical marijuana. You have no choice. I have not gone to a doc for a card yet, but I am going to after my next appt next Friday. I’m even a recovering person. I’ve heard that the ideal “place” to be found is where you take the least dose that does not make you stoned (high), but have a feeling of well being. That’s why I sought out the knee replacement! Of course, we all get to choose our limits. Sometimes I feel like I’d rather not live with this mess, but then I have a god cry, tell a friend, snap back, and focus on one small task/victory. God bless you.

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THC is what I'd recommend, and I'm trying to encourage a friend in a situation like yours to try it. A friend with post cancer pain issues switched to it, and was able to get off her opioids. Shes so thrilled.

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@kibe75

Has the pain management doctor said anything about a nerve ablation? I had knee replacement 1 1/2 years ago and have been in constant pain since (also had taken NSAIDS long term which messed up my stomach to the point I needed gastric bypass surgery). After being told I could no longer take NSAIDS my primary physician prescribed tramadol and referred me to a pain management doctor (by my request as I didn't want to be on narcotic medication any longer than necessary). After battling with the insurance company for 4 months I finally had a diagnostic nerve block last month which took away the pain temporarily. On Friday I go in for an ablation which should help the pain for 1-2 years.

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This is my knee. It is twice the size of my other. And the hardware. Rods upper and lower leg.

8DDC2DE4-A19C-4EBB-8772-C09B3EF21CA3

84CA7A43-3291-41AD-9CB2-0B270A592832

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@debbraw

Hi @sarastafford – I'm glad you found Connect. And I'm very sorry to hear about all of the pain and difficulty you have had since your knee injury. In a way, our knee issues started in a similar way. It was December 2016, I sat down at my computer to do some paperwork, and when I got ready to get up, I literally couldn't walk. I had to wait for my husband to come home to go up to the attic and find some old crutches we had stored there. It was a torn meniscus. But nothing worked. 4 months later, I had a total knee replacement. I'm happy that mine worked out fine and after recovering, I don't have many problems other than a little loss of balance. But I can definitely feel for what you have been through. If I understand correctly, you surgery was in 2009, you are going to a pain clinic, and they are reducing or eliminating your pain medicine. Is that correct? Are they offering you any options for tapering off?

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Hi, my surgery started in 2009. I have had 8 total replacements and a infection and around 10 12 manipulations

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