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

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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No medicine no nothing

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@sarastafford

No medicine no nothing

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No words can express how sad I am for you. I don’t even know how to reply. Hope you get some relief.

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I am writing tonight because it feels like my adhesions are growing even more. At 12 weeks I have this weird net like feeling down into my calf, maybe it’s a kind of numbness, but it seems to be moving toward my ankle. Crazily it feels just like scar tissue. Does anyone else get this? My incision scar is especially tender, numb on both sides, and I can change the intensity of, or at least change the feeling of the adhesions. And even more weird is the feeling like my incision area is wet. Are there swear glands that become active? This is all so unnerving because no one can tell me what all these feelings mean. So here I am trying to fall asleep as usual. Just writing this helps me somehow.

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@sarastafford What am I seeing in the X-ray? Is that a revision or the result of multiple surgeries trying to get it right? I'm am SO sorry for all you've been through. Babette

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That is 7 total knee anthropastr

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@sarastafford

No medicine no nothing

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@sarastafford – It sounds as if the pain management is probably your top priority right now. I believe you said that your pain management doctor said he could refer you to another pain clinic or specialist. I wonder if you might want to revisit that suggestion and accept his offer? Sometimes, for whatever reason, a doctor/patient relationship doesn't work out. It could be that you would have better success and find a better fit at another clinic. If you could manage the pain, it probably would make it easier to make the medical decisions you face with the orthopedic issues. Does it feel comfortable for you to call back and get a referral?

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@zakcat

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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I’m looking into mm. In my state you must get a card, prescribed from a doctor, to go to a mm dispensary. I wish I could just try it for a week or two to see if it works. I do want to share an idea I have not seen on the board nor have I entertained so far. A new pta (who was a student of mine 30 years ago!) worked on me today and told me she has seen people wake up with a positive change in their motion. In other words, she’s seen people’s scar tissue resolve on its own. Now that’s not to say it resolved entirely or completely with no work, but she did say it happened without further surgery. I’ve been so focused on how I must wait 6 months before I can have any progress after arthroscopic arthrolysis. I guess I need to keep working on everything I’m doing; pt, dynamic brace, tens, stationary bike, ice, elevate, walk. I’m exhausted just typing all those things. Each day I’m trying to do 30 minutes of weeding or any outdoor job instead of the entire morning as I used to. Maybe I will be able to walk my daughter down the aisle September 29. Miracles can happen and if not, September 29 is closer to 6 months and another surgery so one day i will walk again. I doubt I’ll remain this positive for long.

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Its a bewildering situation to be in- I empathetically connect with so many of you all. I'm in week 2 recovery after a hip replacement and MUA -my fifth procedure around my knee, all the time trying to stave off the ever encroaching scar tissue and the never-ending pain story. I have my mm supplies and for me it helps a bit but does not eradicate this unnerving buzzing, stabbing ache. A CPM(continuous passive motion) device is my beauty rest companion placed for the foreseeable future on the other side of my bed. in my 2 year journey I have found this forum very good therapy for mind and soul. Knee? well thats still a problem.
More later…. looks like the elusive sleep fairy is dropping by.

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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 and welcome to Connect. Sara, I am so sorry for what you have gone through. It is definitely the worst nightmare I have heard of regarding a TKR. I hope you manage to find some doctor, somewhere who can help you. I can imagine how despondent you must be. Reading your tale even makes me feel helpless in not being able to offer any advice, just concern and hope for the future.
I think you need to get an opinion at the top medical center that you are able to go to. US NEWS just published their annual report on the best hospitals and departments. I would find the hospitals that have the best ortho departments and find a way to go to one of them. You don't mention where you are from, but I hope there is something reasonably close to you. I am very fortunate in that regard, I have Boston 55 miles down the road and go there for many things. Speaking of which, MGH rated second in best hospitals in the country, second to Mayo! Plus I think MGH had the most areas of excellence. Actually though, I don't think MGH is the best place to go to ortho.
Try to stay positive, there has to be some help out there.
I really do wish I could help more. Pain for that long is so destructive to a person, emotionally and every other way.
JK

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@sarastafford

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

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Holy cow, I've never heard of anyone having 8 replacements ! Does that happen to many people?

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@zakcat

Holy cow, I've never heard of anyone having 8 replacements ! Does that happen to many people?

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Hard to believe. Try and get a second opinion on that.Wont happen. He dropped me like a rock. I paid myself with good insurance $24,000 so you can only imagine how much money He has gotten.Also about about eight or nine months now I walked outside and tripped because of my knee and fell and broke my wrist in three places and needed surgery
Won’t help me. I am not a person who sues people. O would love to hear his explanation for all surgeries manipulations
.

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@babette

@sarastafford What am I seeing in the X-ray? Is that a revision or the result of multiple surgeries trying to get it right? I'm am SO sorry for all you've been through. Babette

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That is the result of 7 replacements and then hinged knee surgery. Rods up and down my leg. I can’t get in and out of cars. When I stand up I have to wait about 30!seconds before I
try and move . i can’t Lift my leg up and put it on couch Without holding for support The pain is like nothing I have ever had before

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@contentandwell

Hi, @sarastafford and welcome to Connect. Sara, I am so sorry for what you have gone through. It is definitely the worst nightmare I have heard of regarding a TKR. I hope you manage to find some doctor, somewhere who can help you. I can imagine how despondent you must be. Reading your tale even makes me feel helpless in not being able to offer any advice, just concern and hope for the future.
I think you need to get an opinion at the top medical center that you are able to go to. US NEWS just published their annual report on the best hospitals and departments. I would find the hospitals that have the best ortho departments and find a way to go to one of them. You don't mention where you are from, but I hope there is something reasonably close to you. I am very fortunate in that regard, I have Boston 55 miles down the road and go there for many things. Speaking of which, MGH rated second in best hospitals in the country, second to Mayo! Plus I think MGH had the most areas of excellence. Actually though, I don't think MGH is the best place to go to ortho.
Try to stay positive, there has to be some help out there.
I really do wish I could help more. Pain for that long is so destructive to a person, emotionally and every other way.
JK

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I am in Washington

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@sarastafford

I am in Washington

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@sarastafford I presume the state, not DC. Unless you are way out in the boonies I would think there must be some excellent medical centers within a reasonable distance. Check out that report that I mentioned, ratings of hospitals by US News and World reports.
https://www.usnews.com/info/blogs/press-room/articles/2019-07-30/us-news-releases-30th-annual-2019-20-best-hospitals-rankings

There's U of Washington in Seattle, and if you are in DC, Johns Hopkins is just a train ride up the road.
JK

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@contentandwell

@sarastafford I presume the state, not DC. Unless you are way out in the boonies I would think there must be some excellent medical centers within a reasonable distance. Check out that report that I mentioned, ratings of hospitals by US News and World reports.
https://www.usnews.com/info/blogs/press-room/articles/2019-07-30/us-news-releases-30th-annual-2019-20-best-hospitals-rankings

There's U of Washington in Seattle, and if you are in DC, Johns Hopkins is just a train ride up the road.
JK

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Sorry yes the state. The problem is With my history of so many surgeries Nobody will come near me. My doctor certain won’t give me a referral to another surgeon

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