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?

@contentandwell

@jnoronha @johnbishop I have had two TKRs and not had a scar tissue problem or perhaps a very small one.

I have not been able to get my flex to more than 120 + or -. My orthopedist said he could do a Lysis treatment which is an outpatient procedure to take out scar tissue if I wanted to get a little more flex. I am not sure though if the problem is from scar tissue of if I just didn't do enough PT at home so I decided what I have is functional enough. I didn't dread the surgery as much as the recovery afterward. Your flex is much lower though so you should ask your orthopedist about that.

I have never heard of cortisone injections after TKRs but perhaps they do use them to treat your type of problem. I had them numerous times prior to my surgeries.

If your pain continues you may want to consider a second opinion from a highly regarded orthopedist. If you do choose to do that make sure you get one who is very well rated. Generally, the best are at the large university associated medical centers or other large hospitals in the city but there are some that are more local too. I live in southern NH and there are a couple of orthopedists up here that have had phenomenal success and are very highly regarded, both in different cities from where I live. I do go to Boston for most of my care, either at Mass General, or at Brigham and Women's which is now affiliated with Mass General. My orthopedist is there.
JK

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Thank you for your advice.

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Nothing works as well as manual graduated kneading ,friction, mild contracvt, active motion against the held position and release with mild stretch preformed 5-6 times. Daily general ROM and mild weight trainning at least 30 minutes and a 30 minute walk(assistive if needed) is a must for minimal home program. Any thing less over a 12 month period is insuffucient. I am 90 yrs old with two totals and no pain. Got them 20 years ago. Don't walk down hills. Use a recumbant chair with feet up, eat home cooked food. No smoking. Only light wine at bed. Stay hydrated. Keep up all your lab and Doctors visits. Wear a mask. Google for education. Stay safe.God Bless

Liked by damewocane

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@bill54321

2I am confused.As a retired PT, wha tis normal for flexion. 120 degree is a good target.If you have 120 degrees flexion,, Simple contract, hold to pressure and release repeated 5-10 times will easily get more motion,IF you had it before. My suggestion is to get your PT to give your a program YOU WILL DO at home. You will gain and improve to about 12 months, Don't have to do a lot at home. 30 minutes exercise and walk 30 minutes a day, if a walker is needed. stand erect.That is a minimum. Are you doing it?

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@bill54321 Thank you for your input. I know 120 is not bad which is why I am not trying to improve it by surgery. I do exercise a lot, many that involve knee bending so it may actually be better now. I would love to be able to have just a bit more flex but I can live with the way it is now.

I am almost 3 years post TKR. I was supposed to see my PT for osteoporosis and bursitis just before things closed down. At this point, I have pretty much developed my own exercise plan using online videos. I would love to get back to my health club but I have gotten a letter from my transplant team for a medical furlough. I told the health club to make it for a year, they can always shorten or lengthen it.

I did something to my knee a few days ago so right now I am still exercising but not bending that one as much as the other, nor walking. It really hurts. Generally I either walk or do my recumbent bike and follow a couple of exercise videos daily. Most days, per my Apple Watch, I have at least an hour of exercise. Even so, I am not burning nearly the number of calories as I did when I went to my health club and as a result have about a 10 pound gain that won't budge. 😣
JK

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@contentandwell

@bill54321 Thank you for your input. I know 120 is not bad which is why I am not trying to improve it by surgery. I do exercise a lot, many that involve knee bending so it may actually be better now. I would love to be able to have just a bit more flex but I can live with the way it is now.

I am almost 3 years post TKR. I was supposed to see my PT for osteoporosis and bursitis just before things closed down. At this point, I have pretty much developed my own exercise plan using online videos. I would love to get back to my health club but I have gotten a letter from my transplant team for a medical furlough. I told the health club to make it for a year, they can always shorten or lengthen it.

I did something to my knee a few days ago so right now I am still exercising but not bending that one as much as the other, nor walking. It really hurts. Generally I either walk or do my recumbent bike and follow a couple of exercise videos daily. Most days, per my Apple Watch, I have at least an hour of exercise. Even so, I am not burning nearly the number of calories as I did when I went to my health club and as a result have about a 10 pound gain that won't budge. 😣
JK

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Not how much you burn. Do less arm flexion.Ha! Hot and cold wraps 10:5 cycle will ease pain and take swelling down fast

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@cheris

Hi I had total knee replacement 10 months ago. Lots of swelling. Went to PT had deep tissue massage. VERY painful I felt like I had a very tight band around my knee making it hard to move.. I used a recumbent cross trainer which helped a lot. Getting into the pool and walking had an immediate effect on bringing down the swelling. After 3 months I did fairly well. I was bothered for a long time with sciatic pain making it hard to sit and ride in a car. I had second knee replaced 8 weeks ago. Almost no swelling very good range of motion right after the operation. Doing exercises twice a day and icing 3 time a day. This time around so much better. Some stiffness in knee but nothing compared to last time. My only problem is the hip/butt pain is back but not as bad. Has anyone else had this problem???

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I had hip and butt pain immediately after surgery. That was my main complaint. It continued for weeks until I finally went to a massage therapist/chiro and he spent an hour at a time focusing on my piriformis and the area on the outer side over the trochanter. It was like a rock. Now that it isn’t as tight it feels better. PT was mainly focused on getting my knee moving. (I had and still have lots of scar tissue @ 11 weeks post surgery.

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@trouble4343

I had right knee replacement surgeries in 2002 and 2004 and 2006 and 2008. Then in 2011 I broke the large bone in my upper leg and they put in a bar (and scar) from hip to knee and on October 5, 2017 I tripped and broke the fibula in a difficult place to find, but it was broke and after surgery (In which the surgeon couldn’t find any bone to work with in the knee area) I am in a heel to groin brace and I am not allowed to step on it for 3 months so am in a TCU where I live, Never had to worry about scar tissue. In some respects I wish I had, maybe life would be different. At 74, I fear I may be stuck in a wheelchair because my leg will be so weak after 3 months of no use or exercise. I may also be stuck in a wheelchair because the surgeon didn’t give me a very high chance of success considering how he was forced to connect the two areas, UGH – My cousin says UGHS should be changed to HUGS, but I have a bit of trouble doing that! trouble4343

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I'm 74 and had a tkr back in 2016. Tight band feeling all the time. Gets worse with I walk or exercise. I've fallen 11 time due to not picking up my knee high enough. Been lucky I havent broken a bone. I may be ronnie g out of luck. Have had shots and all kinds of treatment. Nothing has worked so far. All surgeon does swings my leg back and forth and says working great, my job is done,

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@sweede536

I'm 74 and had a tkr back in 2016. Tight band feeling all the time. Gets worse with I walk or exercise. I've fallen 11 time due to not picking up my knee high enough. Been lucky I havent broken a bone. I may be ronnie g out of luck. Have had shots and all kinds of treatment. Nothing has worked so far. All surgeon does swings my leg back and forth and says working great, my job is done,

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I"m 73 and had a full knee replacement in 2016. My motion on the knee has been reduced to 95% my good knee is 135%. The knee swells and is warm most of the time. What i was told is the problem is scar tissue. I spoke to 3 different doctors and they all say the same thing scar tissue. i think it"s B.S but there is nothing else to do if you come up with a remedy I would be interested in any reply.

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@eeppeerr88

I"m 73 and had a full knee replacement in 2016. My motion on the knee has been reduced to 95% my good knee is 135%. The knee swells and is warm most of the time. What i was told is the problem is scar tissue. I spoke to 3 different doctors and they all say the same thing scar tissue. i think it"s B.S but there is nothing else to do if you come up with a remedy I would be interested in any reply.

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Hi I’m also 73 had partial knee replacement surgery in 2017 I had scar removed surgically it hasn’t helped much I got some relief but at 73 there are probably other parts to the knee that’s causing pain and stiffness and I wonder if putting a new part in an old body puts more stress on the old parts
doctors are really confused as I am why my knee still hurts and why the surrounding area and muscles are aggravated????

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Hello everyone I am so glad I found this post

I just had TKR on 08/19/20 so last Wed was 1 week.
Wow this thing hurts! I can go to Zero on extension but I am at 72 on flex. I am working as hard on it as I can. The swelling is down on my lower leg and thigh. I don’t want to revisit this so I got to get it right

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@captjamesh

Hello everyone I am so glad I found this post

I just had TKR on 08/19/20 so last Wed was 1 week.
Wow this thing hurts! I can go to Zero on extension but I am at 72 on flex. I am working as hard on it as I can. The swelling is down on my lower leg and thigh. I don’t want to revisit this so I got to get it right

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Hi @captjamesh, Welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. I had my right knee replaced a year ago this past April and the recovery went really well for me. I did have some swelling and pain early on but I think it was because my idea of what I was told to do during rehab and what I actually was doing were two different things. The follow up meeting with the surgeon he explained what he meant by ice and elevate and how much I was actually doing it. So when I got home after my follow up meeting I did ice and elevate every chance I had and did the rehab exercises in between. I think a recumbent exercise bike helped me the best for flexion. That and walking in my driveway when the weather was nice.

I did my rehab at home. Did they give you the exercises you need to do at home or do you go to physical therapy sessions?

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@johnbishop

Hi @captjamesh, Welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. I had my right knee replaced a year ago this past April and the recovery went really well for me. I did have some swelling and pain early on but I think it was because my idea of what I was told to do during rehab and what I actually was doing were two different things. The follow up meeting with the surgeon he explained what he meant by ice and elevate and how much I was actually doing it. So when I got home after my follow up meeting I did ice and elevate every chance I had and did the rehab exercises in between. I think a recumbent exercise bike helped me the best for flexion. That and walking in my driveway when the weather was nice.

I did my rehab at home. Did they give you the exercises you need to do at home or do you go to physical therapy sessions?

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I went 3 times while at the clinic but I am going to have to do it at home because of cost.

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Hospital is good!

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@johnbishop

Hi @captjamesh, Welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. I had my right knee replaced a year ago this past April and the recovery went really well for me. I did have some swelling and pain early on but I think it was because my idea of what I was told to do during rehab and what I actually was doing were two different things. The follow up meeting with the surgeon he explained what he meant by ice and elevate and how much I was actually doing it. So when I got home after my follow up meeting I did ice and elevate every chance I had and did the rehab exercises in between. I think a recumbent exercise bike helped me the best for flexion. That and walking in my driveway when the weather was nice.

I did my rehab at home. Did they give you the exercises you need to do at home or do you go to physical therapy sessions?

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Thanks🕛will in Saint Charles , Missouri

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This morning was Day 5 since my Total Right knee replacement. All I could think about was how to get some Tylenol 7.5/325 into my coffee. Whew that was 10. I have only used the passive exercise machine. I am going to hit the paperwork after this cools down and do everything by the book. Hope I haven’t messed it up. I have a lot of edema built up . Should I remove this TED hose?

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@wildebjef

This morning was Day 5 since my Total Right knee replacement. All I could think about was how to get some Tylenol 7.5/325 into my coffee. Whew that was 10. I have only used the passive exercise machine. I am going to hit the paperwork after this cools down and do everything by the book. Hope I haven’t messed it up. I have a lot of edema built up . Should I remove this TED hose?

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@wildebjef, Hoping the rest of your day goes well with the knee replacement. My surgeon told me the best thing for the swelling was icing the leg down and making sure it's elevated above your heart like when laying on a bed or couch and have pillows to prop your feet and leg up a few inches. He basically told me to keep the leg elevated when sitting down. I had not heard of T.E.D. (thromboembolism-deterrent) but I also wear compression socks (20-30 mmhg) and was not able to get them on my right leg for a few weeks after the TKR. I ended up purchasing some zip-up compression socks and they are much easier to put on.

I would give your surgeon or care team a call about the T.E.D. hose. If you were able to get the T.E.D. hose on, I would leave it on if it were me because they help with the edema. I have lymphedema and the compression socks really help the swelling in my calves.

Are you able to call your surgeon or care team, did they leave you a phone number to call for questions?

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