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 I am almost 6 weeks out and cont to have lots of pain and lack of ROM in spite of PT 3x a week and exercise at home. This knee in all fairness has had over the years 6 other surgeries ( arthroscopes) But very frustrated here too, Was doing better but then had very aggressive PT that sent me back to stage 1 ( since then trying to go less agressive). I too am open to suggestions as a manipulation seems pretty risky for fractures and not being successful.

REPLY
@dixiedog

There is current evidence that indicates that CPM (continuous passive motion) machines are not effective in more desired outcomes in uncomplicated knee replacements. I haven't see any literature about the use of machines in more problematic knees. The biggest issue is that the machine is passive and active motion is always preferred over passive for lots of reasons.

Jump to this post

I heard this too but think if had been used after surgery on my knee I would be in much better position now

REPLY
@dixiedog

I am now totally against being extremely aggressive- and even in clinic practice, I never saw the value to being over aggressive. It's the patient that leaves the clinic in agony, not the therapist. There is no literature or evidence to say this aggressive approach results in more desired outcomes. I do feel that you have to shove gently- push to your limit but then a bit further. For those that have a low or poor pain tolerance, you have to push through.

Jump to this post

I agree, We went aggressive to try and get better flexion and my knee blew up and sent me back to stage one. Very frustrated

REPLY
@snowdoc2001

Hi I am almost 6 weeks out and cont to have lots of pain and lack of ROM in spite of PT 3x a week and exercise at home. This knee in all fairness has had over the years 6 other surgeries ( arthroscopes) But very frustrated here too, Was doing better but then had very aggressive PT that sent me back to stage 1 ( since then trying to go less agressive). I too am open to suggestions as a manipulation seems pretty risky for fractures and not being successful.

Jump to this post

@snowdoc2001 I'm 12 months post-op bilateral TKR. At 6 weeks I was losing ROM after doing so well in the beginning of PT, and believe (months later) the aggressive PT was to blame for my set back. My surgeon talked me into a manipulation at 6 weeks by telling me how much better I would be after. I went through with it and that is another of my regrets. I did gain ROM immediately after in the weeks of more aggressive PT. I was in so much pain from the MUA that I had to go back on pain meds. After 3 weeks of PT I started losing ROM again because the inflammation and swelling came back much worse. Then I was told to stop PT for 2 weeks to heal. After the 2 weeks I never got more than 110 on flexion and 5 on extension(I was 96 and 0 before MUA). I continued to be in pain do to the soft tissue damage from the MUA, no fractures from it. I would find a PT immediately and start with gentle PT that involves massage of soft tissue and gentle PT.

REPLY
@kimbies1204

I’m so sorry it has come back for you. I’m struggling with my post care. Aggressive PT or no, CPM or not, etc. The last 2 1/2 years have been miserable.

Jump to this post

It is so sad about how much we have in common.. Hope you get some better results…Very few know the never ending pain of this 2 year + fresh hell…

REPLY
@kimbies1204

Sigh…getting nervous as the procedure is tomorrow. I’ve dealt with this for 2 1/2 years and am nervous it won’t help. I’m trying to stay positive and hopeful, maybe just sullen because it’s Christmas and I was supposed to go home but can’t now that they’ve rescheduled the surgery for tomorrow. So, alone and anxious.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Jump to this post

Good afternoon kimbles1204. I hope your surgery went well and that you are beginning to have less anxiety. Would you be able to share your surgery and recovery so far with other members so that they can benefit from your experience? I do want to make sure that you receive good information about the recovery process. And I want to pass along something that helped me. My surgeon came by and said, "Chris, you have a decision to make". Do you want your new knee to last for 5 years or for the rest of your life? He then told me to be gentle….and prepare to move slowly into former activities. May you be free of suffering and the causes of suffering. Chris

REPLY

First TKR in 2012. Knee stiff for 18months. Revision unsuccessful. Then manipulation the same. New surgeon initially didn’t want to do operation. He eventually removed the damage and put in Spacers for 5 months to fight infection. New knee operation with rods down middle. Scar tissue had a field day. Four operations in one knee. The other knee was done in 2018. Scar tissue arrived as usual after the 6th month. Exercised after each operation but the pain of the scar tissue is still in abundance. Swelling, then redness, then throbbing. Nobody wants to hear. It’s a life sentence.

REPLY

Good God! Are you able to walk? I suppose sometime in the future people will look back and talk about barbaric joint replacements. I'm so sorry for all you've gone through. Btw, you're a good writer.

REPLY
@babette

Good God! Are you able to walk? I suppose sometime in the future people will look back and talk about barbaric joint replacements. I'm so sorry for all you've gone through. Btw, you're a good writer.

Jump to this post

Thank you. Besides friends, I’ve never really seen anyone show sympathy. Medics are so hard. I can walk but pain is erratic. I can’t take mind altering drugs. The knees swell, go red and bite. Sleeping can be interrupted. Arthritis would have been better. But I shall continue to push for answers. I want to continue my tour of the world, with help from my partner. Thank you again. 😇

REPLY
@lilfor1952

Thank you. Besides friends, I’ve never really seen anyone show sympathy. Medics are so hard. I can walk but pain is erratic. I can’t take mind altering drugs. The knees swell, go red and bite. Sleeping can be interrupted. Arthritis would have been better. But I shall continue to push for answers. I want to continue my tour of the world, with help from my partner. Thank you again. 😇

Jump to this post

Keep writing.

REPLY
@lilfor1952

Thank you. Besides friends, I’ve never really seen anyone show sympathy. Medics are so hard. I can walk but pain is erratic. I can’t take mind altering drugs. The knees swell, go red and bite. Sleeping can be interrupted. Arthritis would have been better. But I shall continue to push for answers. I want to continue my tour of the world, with help from my partner. Thank you again. 😇

Jump to this post

@lilfor1952 don’t give up, somewhere, hopefully, there is a doctor who can help you. Have you been to a large medical center, teaching hospital? @babette went through a lot but she found a great doctor and has gotten relief. I know a woman who also had problems but she too found a great doctor who was able to fix things.
That being said, scar tissue is a difficult situation though. I was fortunate to not have that problem but there are many on here who do. You are in the right place to hear what people have and have not been able to do about it. Keep in mind that most of the people have come here because they have problems, which does not mean there is no solution. I do have a very small amount of scar tissue that doesn’t hurt but prevents my flex from being as good as I would like. The doctor told me he could do a “lysis”, an outpatient procedure, to remove it. Do you know if that is possible for you?
I hope you will find a doctor who can help you. Let us know how you are doing please.
JK

Liked by damewocane

REPLY
@lilfor1952

First TKR in 2012. Knee stiff for 18months. Revision unsuccessful. Then manipulation the same. New surgeon initially didn’t want to do operation. He eventually removed the damage and put in Spacers for 5 months to fight infection. New knee operation with rods down middle. Scar tissue had a field day. Four operations in one knee. The other knee was done in 2018. Scar tissue arrived as usual after the 6th month. Exercised after each operation but the pain of the scar tissue is still in abundance. Swelling, then redness, then throbbing. Nobody wants to hear. It’s a life sentence.

Jump to this post

Yes it is- (Life Sentence), and it hurts So badly- My life has become grotesque and I, a freak in the horrific pain and disfigurement of my mobility, knee and life … sounds like—Yours from this. You are not the only one…I think we should join forces at least emotionally- I do want to hear and share- I still want to fight, to change and heal… It doesn't look good but I'm not "over" yet>

72478689_2654080434677817_2690703947592630272_n

REPLY
@contentandwell

@lilfor1952 don’t give up, somewhere, hopefully, there is a doctor who can help you. Have you been to a large medical center, teaching hospital? @babette went through a lot but she found a great doctor and has gotten relief. I know a woman who also had problems but she too found a great doctor who was able to fix things.
That being said, scar tissue is a difficult situation though. I was fortunate to not have that problem but there are many on here who do. You are in the right place to hear what people have and have not been able to do about it. Keep in mind that most of the people have come here because they have problems, which does not mean there is no solution. I do have a very small amount of scar tissue that doesn’t hurt but prevents my flex from being as good as I would like. The doctor told me he could do a “lysis”, an outpatient procedure, to remove it. Do you know if that is possible for you?
I hope you will find a doctor who can help you. Let us know how you are doing please.
JK

Jump to this post

Thank you for your interest. Was supposed to see consultant tomorrow, but he cancelled at the last moment. Not looking for an operation but advise on how to deal with the irregular ongoing pain. Will get new consultant and ask about lysis. Fed up with this nonsense. You have to care about your patients. Thanks.
LF

REPLY
@damewocane

Yes it is- (Life Sentence), and it hurts So badly- My life has become grotesque and I, a freak in the horrific pain and disfigurement of my mobility, knee and life … sounds like—Yours from this. You are not the only one…I think we should join forces at least emotionally- I do want to hear and share- I still want to fight, to change and heal… It doesn't look good but I'm not "over" yet>

Jump to this post

Keep fighting I will. They can’t just operate then leave you in pain. They should at least understand. What happens as age takes over. You have two lots of pain, neither of which is your fault. Sometimes you think you’re going crazy. But then you see you’re not alone. Others are hurting. This chat room proves that. 👍🏼

REPLY
@lilfor1952

Keep fighting I will. They can’t just operate then leave you in pain. They should at least understand. What happens as age takes over. You have two lots of pain, neither of which is your fault. Sometimes you think you’re going crazy. But then you see you’re not alone. Others are hurting. This chat room proves that. 👍🏼

Jump to this post

I am 8 weeks post op for TKR. Still stiff, some pain at night, but it seems to be improving slowly. I found some comfort and daytime relief by wearing a compression sleeve on my knee. I had never heard of this, but my son-in-law reminded me about RICE. Rest, Ice, Compression, Exercise. I immediately bought one and wear it during the day.

REPLY
Please login or register to post a reply.