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?

Hi @debbie64131 – Welcome to Connect! You found a good thread here with lots of people who have experienced issues similar to what you mention with scar tissue. I also had a TKR in January and thankfully, my recovery was pretty smooth with no scar tissue issues. Even with that said, I did really benefit from acupuncture and I have loved being able to get in the pool and do my exercises there. So much easier. I'm going to tag a few people who may be able to share some of their insights with TKR recovery and scar tissue – @babette, @gator1965 and @ellerbracke. Meantime, have you tried acupuncture, water therapy or any of the "alternative" therapies?

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@debbraw

Hi @debbie64131 – Welcome to Connect! You found a good thread here with lots of people who have experienced issues similar to what you mention with scar tissue. I also had a TKR in January and thankfully, my recovery was pretty smooth with no scar tissue issues. Even with that said, I did really benefit from acupuncture and I have loved being able to get in the pool and do my exercises there. So much easier. I'm going to tag a few people who may be able to share some of their insights with TKR recovery and scar tissue – @babette, @gator1965 and @ellerbracke. Meantime, have you tried acupuncture, water therapy or any of the "alternative" therapies?

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Thanks so much for reaching out to me. I have done water therapy & it works great while I’m in the pool but it doesn’t take long after I go home for the bands to come back. I’ve had months of therapy but I haven’t tried acupuncture.

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@debbie64131

My knee replacement was in January. I’m still having issues with scar tissue. I had a total manipulation done & that helped for only 2 days. I’ve been going thru months of therapy. Looking for suggestions or input from others.

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I also have had months of therapy, acupuncture knee manipulation cortisone shots water therapy nothing g is helping me either I am suppose to get a knee scope done tomorrow but unsure if I want to

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I have tried everything to break up the scar tissue, including 25 laser treatments, but nothing has worked. I am meeting with a surgeon in a few weeks to see about undergoing a lysis procedure.

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@contentandwell

@exflyer that’s a huge loss of ROM. if you do go ahead with lysis I will be very interested in hearing about. I have discussed this with my doctor but decided it was not worth it for me. My flex is @115.
JK

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If I was at 115 degrees I would also not consider undergoing a lysis procedure, but my ROM is bad and getting worse, and lysis is about my last option.

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Does acupuncture help? If so, can someone recommend a clinic in Kansas City?

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@exflyer

I have tried everything to break up the scar tissue, including 25 laser treatments, but nothing has worked. I am meeting with a surgeon in a few weeks to see about undergoing a lysis procedure.

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I had lysis and it helped quite a bit. I still have to exercise all the time, but I can do about anything I want now.

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@dduke

I had lysis and it helped quite a bit. I still have to exercise all the time, but I can do about anything I want now.

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What is lysis?

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In reply to @debbie64131 "What is lysis?" + (show)
@debbie64131

What is lysis?

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It is an arthroscopic procedure in which they cut out much of the scar tissue. They will usually do a manipulation at the same time as you are already under anesthesia. I had a manipulation planned and my Dr. wanted to scope me while I was out. He said there was so much scar tissue that I would not have been able to overcome it with P.T. So he performed the lysis procedure and it helped quite a bit.
https://www.arthroscopytechniques.org/article/S2212-6287(17)30061-0/fulltext

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@debbie64131

My knee replacement was in January. I’m still having issues with scar tissue. I had a total manipulation done & that helped for only 2 days. I’ve been going thru months of therapy. Looking for suggestions or input from others.

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Oh Dear- There is quite a pattern of sad repetition here-Not for everyone but wow – I'm looking at a 2nd manipulation after a revision after… blah blah- Is there an answer? This is frightening, Expensive and painful- how long can you go on?

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@dduke

I had lysis and it helped quite a bit. I still have to exercise all the time, but I can do about anything I want now.

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That is very encouraging! How long ago did you have the lysis procedure done?

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@debbie64131

Does acupuncture help? If so, can someone recommend a clinic in Kansas City?

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Hi Debbie64131 Since the bands between my knee and my hip were virtually "locked" and nothing worked to relieve it, I went to my accupunturist and he put the "needles" into each of the pain points on the bands that I knew were there, he also found 3 that were moderate and treated them as well. He "cups" the needled areas to bring the bloodflow to the point of pain, (which for me, usually has a huge nodule that defines them). He also treats the areas on my body that he knows need management treatment. Within 4 treatments to my left leg (TKR leg) the bands relaxed and I finally got relief. Because I can still feel some of the nodules, altho they're now small, I continue to have him treat them with management once a month. Accupunture has always been an excellent source of pain relief for me if done correctly. If you can find a "Community Accupunture"therapist, they are dedicated to make the treatments affordable for everyone and have sliding scales. In my city, they change $15-$35 and people pay what they can afford.

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