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?

Will do.

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@dickiedo

What exactly is it you are to do 30 min a day.

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Stretching hamstring mostly in my case and all other related muscles from waist down

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@dickiedo

Read your post. Enjoy.
Having arthroscopic on 24th. Scar tissue causing patella clunk. Back to OS on nov. 8th. Range of motion 118 and -4. After tissue removal how long is PT usually if range is good.

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@dickiedo I have no idea if there is a set amount of time. In my experience, it's been determined by the particular needs of the patient how well that patient is doing, and if more PT would benefit him/her.
JK

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@bisutton

I had tkr 11/16/2015, and like you, I’m still suffering. I wish I could help you. I can just tell you, you’re not alone. I’ve had manipulation 4 months after surgery, which didn’t help. I had the nerve blocks done, and they didn’t help. I know my problem is scar tissue and nerve entrapment (my own diagnosis). I’ve had 2 second opinions, and both said my joint looks fine. I take 700 mg. of gabapenten every day, and 3 5/325 mg hydro codone. It just dulls the pain. I don’t know where to turn either. My surgeon said he could do arthroscopic surgery and try to remove the scar tissue, but I don’t trust him anymore. I hope you can find a solution.

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I am losing faith in the medical profession right now, just how I feel. I am going through the same thing, had my TKR in 2016. I have been complaining ever since then, bends at about 100, stiff like a board and swelling ….all the time. By the evening, I can hardly walk. Plus, I'm bone on bone on my other knee, so I'm scared to land up in a wheelchair !!! My original surgeon said everything is good, and I shouldn't think about my knee. Moved to another state, so followed up with another surgeon, took xrays, says the same thing.
Because of Insurance, had to see another Ortho, and, well, of course, he said the same thing. The only difference is that he said I'm having pain. DDDUUUhhh. I'm suppose to see a pain MD after the week end. Reading here, I'm not so sure I want to. I had PT about 3-4 times. I mentioned to this last Ortho about maybe it is scar tissue, and he said no. He said he can't do a revision if he doesn't know the cause of the pain. I'm not asking for a revision, unless necessary…..but why can't they tell me the cause then ?
How do they conclude it's scar tissue, can anyone tell me that ? Is it determined by the symptoms alone ?
I'm ready to take a hammer to it myself ! (Don't worry, I won't)

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@babette

@katp First of all I would *definitely* ask for meds for depression. I'm a therapist, so I know both from my clients' and my own experiences that they can make a huge difference. And get in the water! There's nothing I want to do more!

The short version of my story is that I had my initial R TKR in July 2018. I didn't really pay any attention to the first 3 months as I expected those to be rough. However, when my surgeon told me at 6 months that all was OK I knew it was time to get another opinion. Here in Boston there are no surgeons who will make a second opinion on a TKR until you are one year out. So I suffered with terrible pain in and around my knee. I rode a stationary bike daily – no pain doing that – and did some at home PT, some outpatient PT but the pain just got too terrible. I've also had terrible scar problems: I didn't wear pants, tights, etc. for at least 8 months. Couldn't have a sheet against my knee, etc. So I'm wondering if a plastic surgeon might be worth talking to.

Fast forward and at the one-year mark I saw a terrific surgeon who confirmed that I would need a total revision: he said my femur is misaligned, my patella is off-center and something is wrong with a ligament – don't remember the details of that. He referred me to a colleague who he said he would send any loved one to for a revision like mine. He told me that in his 30 years of practice he's only seen one other surgeon as gifted as the one I'm seeing tomorrow! So, even though I was crushed when I was told I needed another revision, I'm going in with eyes open, the right questions, and lots of hope.

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Best of luck to you !! Can you please tell me how this surgeon determined what was wrong ? Without going to a lot of details, I had my surgery TKR 3 years ago, and suffering still. Seen numerous surgeons. Partially because moved out of state, partially because of insurance. However, mostly because I know something is wrong, I shouldn't feel like this. Everyone takes x-rays, and then says it looks good, nothing to worry about. So, did you have more in depth tests ? Bone scan ? MRI, ect.?

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My doctor took MRI saw the scar and went in arthroscopic removed it and it grew back I am going to live with it unless they can figure something out lousy for sure

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@bengalady

I am losing faith in the medical profession right now, just how I feel. I am going through the same thing, had my TKR in 2016. I have been complaining ever since then, bends at about 100, stiff like a board and swelling ….all the time. By the evening, I can hardly walk. Plus, I'm bone on bone on my other knee, so I'm scared to land up in a wheelchair !!! My original surgeon said everything is good, and I shouldn't think about my knee. Moved to another state, so followed up with another surgeon, took xrays, says the same thing.
Because of Insurance, had to see another Ortho, and, well, of course, he said the same thing. The only difference is that he said I'm having pain. DDDUUUhhh. I'm suppose to see a pain MD after the week end. Reading here, I'm not so sure I want to. I had PT about 3-4 times. I mentioned to this last Ortho about maybe it is scar tissue, and he said no. He said he can't do a revision if he doesn't know the cause of the pain. I'm not asking for a revision, unless necessary…..but why can't they tell me the cause then ?
How do they conclude it's scar tissue, can anyone tell me that ? Is it determined by the symptoms alone ?
I'm ready to take a hammer to it myself ! (Don't worry, I won't)

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I understand how you feel. I had both knees done in 2016. I have not had a day without pain since then. I have tried most everything to no avail. I do have good flexion & extension, just terrible & continuous pain. My Dr cannot tell me why, because the xrays always look fine. It is so frustrating & I feel it would help some, if only a Dr. could explain what went wrong.

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@rmeddings

I understand how you feel. I had both knees done in 2016. I have not had a day without pain since then. I have tried most everything to no avail. I do have good flexion & extension, just terrible & continuous pain. My Dr cannot tell me why, because the xrays always look fine. It is so frustrating & I feel it would help some, if only a Dr. could explain what went wrong.

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@bengalady @rmeddings I wish I could offer some help or a suggestion but it seems as if you have both been to numerous doctors, none of whom have been able to help. If the doctors you have been to not been at a major medical center than I implore you to go to one. Do some research first to find the doctor who might be best for your situation. The doctors at the large medical centers have seen more. If it’s a teaching hospital that’s the best in my opinion. Mass General Hospital is about 55 miles down the highway from me so I go there now for almost everything. I feel very fortunate to have such highly rated hospitals within a 1 – 2 hour drive.

If nothing works out orthopedically the next option is a pain doctor of course. I don’t know much about them but if nothing else worked I would definitely try that option.
JK

Liked by damewocane

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My heart breaks for all of us out here who continue to suffer our messed up" revised" knees with no answers- I am about to undergo the nerve block part in a few weeks- if that takes an ablation… i will try to keep you posted…

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Hopefully it will be better keep us updated

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@rmeddings

I understand how you feel. I had both knees done in 2016. I have not had a day without pain since then. I have tried most everything to no avail. I do have good flexion & extension, just terrible & continuous pain. My Dr cannot tell me why, because the xrays always look fine. It is so frustrating & I feel it would help some, if only a Dr. could explain what went wrong.

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I know, so we’re not alone in this. My thoughts are with you also.

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@rayreich3

Hopefully it will be better keep us updated

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Please do ! Good luck

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@damewocane

My heart breaks for all of us out here who continue to suffer our messed up" revised" knees with no answers- I am about to undergo the nerve block part in a few weeks- if that takes an ablation… i will try to keep you posted…

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Please let us know how this goes. I’m suppose to go see a pain doc later in week, but I don’t feel real confident. I just want to know WHY this is. It will help me deal with it, and hopefully find a solution.

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You know, some thoughts on my mind, plus looking at picture of my knees. The last surgeon eluded to the fact that I need to lose weight. First off, I was about 15lb heavier when I had my surgery. I am overweight, and a lot of it is in my lower body, hips, thighs. (And now my knees, lol). Yo-Yo dieting, plus aging ….well, I could use a knee lift ? I mean, yes…..it’s swollen, but hanging over…..my knee looks deformed, I hate it ! Maybe my weight is pushing around the replacement, causing the swelling ?
Yet, I’d think they’d have a warning or something, not for over 300lb or something. I’m not that heavy, just sayin.
Plus, aren’t these suppose to be strong ? Plus, if that’s it, I’ll work on it more, but then, more gravity will pull it down.
A brace helps me, but don’t want to be dependent on it.
I’m sorry, I’m ranting, just so many things going through my head.

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I told my surgeon couple years ago, they need to give people antidepressants with this surgery !

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