SOS! How to protect scars/prevent painful rubbing! TKR

Posted by babette @babette, Nov 3, 2018

Ever since my knee replacement 3 months ago my scar drives me nuts. It wasn't bad in the summer when I could wear shorts or dresses but pants or tights are driving me and my raised scar nuts! Am I missing something great at the pharmacy? Some kind of bandage (an ace is way too rough) Help! And many thanks.

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@babette This sounds sooo uncomfortable. i didn't have that kind of discomfort with my TKR scar. Has your orthopedic surgeon offered any options? I'm going to tag some people in this group who have had TKRs… to see if they can share advice from their own experience: @melcpa86, @amberpep, and @contentandwell. Meantime, I'm hoping you get some relief.

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@babette @debbraw I never had a problem with my scar/incision after either TKR, and they were done by different doctors. Do you have very sensitive skin? It sounds as if some nerves must be involved, but it would seem to me that nerves would be involved with any incision. Other than that I can’t think of what could be causing your discomfort. If you haven’t spoken to your doctor about this perhaps you should, he may be able to prescribe some type of cream or ointment that will have a numbing effect until you are fully healed. If you do speak to your doctor please let us know what he or she says.
JK

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Did your Dr prescribe Gabapentin? It is for nerve pain, which it sounds like you have. My Doc has me on it for 6 weeks post op.

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My GP prescribed amitriptyline at night for nerve type pain, this also helps you sleep which is an added bonus. I have to wear tights for work , this is still jolly uncomfortable after 7 months. Even slight brushing of the knee against something causes pain around the scar region.
My physio advises desensitising the area by gently massaging different textures around the area, ie towel, tissue, toothbrush etc. I haven't tried the toothbrush yet!

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@gator1965 Ugh! I love to wear tights in winter but absolutely cannot. I discovered knee high tights, tres sexy, not. I'm 4 months out and still have a very sensitive scar. The only thing that numbs it somewhat is Aspercreme. My PT also suggested the using a towel to desensitize, but I cannot imagine using a toothbrush! Ouch!

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I am so glad to hear I am not alone with this problem. It was fine when I could wear shorts but now that it's cold I have to wear pants. Just the slightest touch makes me crazy. My knee is fine it's the scar that bothers me. It's healed very nicely it just doesn't want to be touched. I have to hang my knee out of the covers at night to sleep. At 2 months post op 5 hours is all I can manage to sleep then I have to move to the recliner and hope to be able to fall asleep again off and on till morning. I. Seriously considering cutting the knee out of my jeans. How long before this goes away. And yes I am trying to desensitize it.

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@holly8910

I am so glad to hear I am not alone with this problem. It was fine when I could wear shorts but now that it's cold I have to wear pants. Just the slightest touch makes me crazy. My knee is fine it's the scar that bothers me. It's healed very nicely it just doesn't want to be touched. I have to hang my knee out of the covers at night to sleep. At 2 months post op 5 hours is all I can manage to sleep then I have to move to the recliner and hope to be able to fall asleep again off and on till morning. I. Seriously considering cutting the knee out of my jeans. How long before this goes away. And yes I am trying to desensitize it.

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Two things have worked for me on sensitive scars. One is silicon scar minimizer sheets, the other was Rock Tape (kinesiology tape) applied with a very slight stretch. My contractor had emergency abdominal surgery this summer with a long incision. He wears a snug band of a soft old t-shirt under a "belly band"
Have you tried any of these?

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Babette, I also have the nerve pain along my scar area that drives me nuts. It’s been that way since 6 weeks post-op. I’m now at 10. As the swelling in my knee increases throughout the day the sensitivity of the area increases, so I try my best to keep the swelling down by icing, elevating, NSAIDs (including the topical kind), & wearing a compression tight. Since the compression tight is snug it doesn’t move up & down on the scar, so I can tolerate it much more than sweatpants & regular pants. When I get home from work I put on sweatpants that have 1 leg cut out. My PT was very worried about the hypersensitivity & said it could spread to other areas. He suggested desensitizing by rubbing different fabrics on it, graduating up to a scratch pad, & also wearing pants & sweatpants that will rub over the scar. I figure he’s a bit sadistic or has no idea of what he’s asking, so I gently massage/rub the area & ignore the rest of his advice. I am no medical expert, but the idea of asking people who are in constant pain to take on an extra irritant doesn’t sound like good therapy advice to me. I like the ideas of some commenters to apply a nerve blocker, esp at night to calm the scar area down so you can sleep. Think I’m going to try the over-the-counter topical first. You’re not alone. Hope you find some relief.

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I used the cbd on my knee it worked well for the sensitivity and pain I was having …., I like many could not wear pants thankfully now I can. I am little over 4 months out so it does get better….I could not put anything over my knee except for ice ….my chiropractor had the cbd at her office told me give it a try it worked for me …. I think it was also time helped…..good luck I hope you find something that works for you…

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@backtohiking

Babette, I also have the nerve pain along my scar area that drives me nuts. It’s been that way since 6 weeks post-op. I’m now at 10. As the swelling in my knee increases throughout the day the sensitivity of the area increases, so I try my best to keep the swelling down by icing, elevating, NSAIDs (including the topical kind), & wearing a compression tight. Since the compression tight is snug it doesn’t move up & down on the scar, so I can tolerate it much more than sweatpants & regular pants. When I get home from work I put on sweatpants that have 1 leg cut out. My PT was very worried about the hypersensitivity & said it could spread to other areas. He suggested desensitizing by rubbing different fabrics on it, graduating up to a scratch pad, & also wearing pants & sweatpants that will rub over the scar. I figure he’s a bit sadistic or has no idea of what he’s asking, so I gently massage/rub the area & ignore the rest of his advice. I am no medical expert, but the idea of asking people who are in constant pain to take on an extra irritant doesn’t sound like good therapy advice to me. I like the ideas of some commenters to apply a nerve blocker, esp at night to calm the scar area down so you can sleep. Think I’m going to try the over-the-counter topical first. You’re not alone. Hope you find some relief.

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Hi backtohiking, the recommended treatment for scar nerve sensitivity is to desensitize the area with different items fron very soft tk very coarse. It really has helped me.

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